How to Internationalize your Degree

Posted by Kren on January 27, 2015

York 2.0

Hola! Have you ever considered traveling during your undergrad degree, or wanted to learn a new language? At York, these are two of the components of internationalizing your degree. Students may study internationally and work overseas to experience the environment of the international job market. It also gives you the opportunity to network globally during your undergraduate degree. York International is the central source in charge of global initiatives available to York students. I could not believe the variety of opportunity available to York students who are interested in internationalizing their degree, so I decided to provide you with a glimpse of all of the different choices you have as a York U student to gain international experience throughout your undergrad.

Study Abroad/Participate in an Exchange

Studying abroad is a a great way to gain international experience. You can learn more about studying abroad by reading more about the York Exchange Program and finding an academic program related to your field of study or a subject that interests you. Participating in an exchange allows you to take courses at a university in another country where you may earn credits towards your York degree. Exchanges are available to York students through York International, Glendon College, Osgoode Hall Law School, the Faculty of Fine Arts, and the Schulich School of Business. I also wrote another blog on internationalizing your Business degree; you can check it out here!


Work Abroad/Internships

Completing an internship abroad can be another useful way to gain international work experience in a field of your interest and to be exposed to the international job market. Interning abroad is also a great opportunity to network internationally. Recently, a Glendon student and campus ambassador completed a 13-week internship in a tropical rainforest in Costa Rica. Be sure to check out Kelly’s blog How to Intern in Paradise, Part 1, where she shares her experience! There are tons of opportunities available to you. Read more on each opportunity on the Intern Abroad page under global internships.

This is a photo from Kelly (a Glendon Campus Ambassador's) trip to Costa Rica, be sure to check out her blog on her international experience!
This is a photo taken during Kelly’s (a Glendon Campus Ambassador) trip to Costa Rica!

The iBA at Glendon

Glendon students also have the ability to international their degree, not only bilingually, but even trilingually. Glendon offers their own iBA program where students take internationally-oriented courses, complete an international exchange, and then apply for either bilingual or trilingual certification upon completion of their language component. You can find out more details about Glendon’s iBA program here.

Take a Summer Abroad Course

Taking a summer abroad course counts towards your international degree (and, if needed, you are also able to apply for financial aid). Summer Abroad courses are also available to students through York International’s Go Global initiative.  Another way to gain international experience in your undergraduate degree is by participating in informal study anywhere programs. For example, the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (LA&PS) and the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design (AMPD) in association with York International offer information sessions for students interested in studying abroad.


Volunteer for the International Student Peer Mentor Program

The International Student Peer Program is a great way to learn from and network with international students who are new to York. The program is in place to help international students with their transition into the York environment. Peer mentors help new York students by helping you navigate the York campus, teaching you about helpful resources available to meet your needs, and being a supportive friend. Through participating in the international student peer mentor program, you will also be eligible to receive a certificate of recognition for your volunteer efforts at the international level.


Study a Language

Studying at a diverse university like York provides you with options when it comes to studying another language. The Department of Languages, Literatures & Linguistics in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies has one of the largest selections of languages of all universities in Canada. From Chinese (Mandarin) to Persian (Farsi), York students also have the opportunity to participate in the World Cultures Buddy Program, where you are matched up with an international student whose first language is the language you are studying at York.


Want More Flexibility?

York International has a chart on their My International Degree page that shows students what their international involvement can count towards. Students must acquire 60 points from a variety of international experiences in order to be eligible to internationalize their degree. After you believe you have completed enough components to graduate with an internationalized degree, you must submit an application form, cover letter, documentation of the completion of each requirement, as well as any supporting documents to York International, which assesses your eligibility.

If you have questions about internationalizing your degree, feel free to tweet me @yorkustudents or comment on this post. Ciao for now!


Two degrees, double the insight. Read up on Kren's combined student and alumni experience as she delves into her second degree at York U.

See other posts by Kren