New fellowship connects students to global learning opportunities

Pack your bags and make the world your classroom for a year.

That’s the message to McMaster students from the McCall MacBain Foundation, created by McMaster graduate and Alumni Gallery inductee Dr. Marcy McCall MacBain (’00) and her husband, John McCall MacBain. Through their foundation, the two support leading scholarship programs in Canada and abroad, along with other initiatives in education, health and the environment.

The foundation is piloting the McCall MacBain International Fellowships, which will award up to 10 McMaster students with up to $23,500 to finance a year abroad. Only two Canadian universities are part of the pilot, and McMaster is proud to be one of them.

Sean Van Koughnett, Associate Vice-President (Students and Learning) and Dean of Students, points out that these are no ordinary awards.

“The McCall MacBain International Fellowships are structured to be practical, exciting, and transformative,” he says. “Winners will spend one term learning a new language, one studying at university, and one working abroad.  The fellowships will help create the kind of global citizens that employers need, and that students work so hard to be.”

Director of Student Success, Gina Robinson, agrees that the fellowships will give students a professional advantage, especially given the value employers place on intercultural competence and international experience.

“We’ve known that for some time, but the biggest barrier to global experience is money,” she notes. “That’s why it’s exciting to see an award that covers so much of students’ experiences abroad. Our Global Experience Coordinator is looking forward to working with the winners, to help them find meaningful work abroad.”

With cost being such a common concern, participating in the McCall MacBain fellowships is an important step toward making international experience accessible to more McMaster students.

“Many students believe they can’t afford to travel or study abroad and don’t pursue opportunities like the one McCall MacBain is offering,” says Senior Associate Registrar: Student Financial Aid and Scholarships, Tracie Long. “But options like these fellowships and our McMaster aid and award programs make it possible for more students to benefit from this kind of valuable experience.”

Interested students can find application information at

Applications are due at 4 p.m. on Nov. 20.

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