Students and staff from  MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada on a visit to Athlone Institute of Technology.

Canada’s MacEwan University Students Visit Athlone Institute of Technology

A group of Child and Youth Care students from MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta visited Athlone Institute of Technology’s Department of Social Sciences last week to learn about the institute’s undergraduate social care programmes. Over the course of the visit, the group were treated to several talks and information sessions, including an interactive approach to social care art class which explored the concepts of ‘lifelines’ and ‘power and privilege’. The ‘lifeline’ activity examined individuals differing in the choice of metaphors used to represent their life. making known the challenges individuals encounter and what symbolic framework is used to represent their concept of ‘life’. The ‘power and privilege’ activity required students to create a paper ‘outfit’ on one of their peers.

The students also attended a guest lecture by Fionn and Johnathan Angus who shared their experiences with special and mainstream education, training and employment, accessing a Personal Budget, setting up a company to manage it, accommodation, travel and friendships in an honest, educational and inspirational manner, and a social care practice class on the BA (Hons) in Social Care Practice which explored placement supervision models, compared and contrasted Irish and Canadian placement supports, as well as discussing career pathways.Paul Casserly, a BA (Hons) in Applied Social Studies (Social Care) student and wheelchair athlete with Shannonside Steelers WBC, and Stephen Melvin, former Irish International wheelchair basketball player and hurler with Connacht Wheelchair Hurlers also put the students through their paces with Sport and Recreation lecture Joe Tierney.

According to Oliver Hegarty, head of department of social sciences: “It’s always a pleasure to welcome staff and students from MacEwan University to our award-winning campus and show them around our world class facilities. It was particularly enjoyable to meet faculty member, Donna Barker, who visited the institute for the first time, and, of course, Catherine Hedlin, whom we regard as family at this stage. We look forward to further deepening the relationship between our two institutes over the next 5 years. His colleague. Dr Ashling Jackson added: “These annual international visits are hugely beneficial to our social care students who are given the opportunity to interact with their Canadian counterparts and, in the process, learn about Canadian social care practices. Staff movement on both sides further strengthens the links between Athlone Institute of Technology and MacEwan University. We highly value this relationship and look forward to building on our collaboration with MacEwan University.”

At Athlone Institute of Technology, students are encouraged to avail of their educational passport and study abroad for a semester or full year. The institute has signed study abroad partnerships with 230 universities and research institutions around the world including Continental Europe, Canada, Brazil and places as far flung as Malaysia, Indonesia and China. As part of the institute’s internationalisation strategy, the bilateral flow of students and staff between Canadian partner universities and AIT is expected to increase substantially. Director of International Relations, Mary Simpson commented: “International experiences give our graduates a competitive edge when applying for jobs. Our students are interested in learning more about practices in the Canadian education system and we, as Ireland’s leading institute of technology look forward to welcoming more students from Canada each year”.

Students, are you interested in pursuing a career in social care? Check out our suite of programmes here. Awarded Sunday Times Institute of Technology of the Year 2018, Athlone Institute of Technology is currently first nationally of all HEIs in the Irish league table for student satisfaction and first across the technological higher education sector for research.

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