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REF NO.: 380

SUBJECT: Memorial graduates gain valuable international work experience
DATE: Aug. 16, 2005

Imagine getting the opportunity to experience another culture and gain valuable work experience at the same time. This fall, four graduates from Memorial’s faculties of Arts and Business Administration will get the opportunity to do just that as part of the Young Professionals International (YPI) program. The four graduates from Memorial are: Jill Paterson, MA (history); Michael Collins, BA (Hons.); Jennifer Tipple, B.Comm. (Co-op); and Stephanie Lewis, B.Comm. (Co-op).

Jill Paterson from St. John’swill travel to Genova, Italy, to work at the University of Genova’s Research Centre in Canadian Studies and the Age of European Expansion. Michael Collins heads to Waterford, Ireland, and the Waterford Institute of Technology’s Centre for Newfoundland Studies. Stephanie Lewis is also off to Irelandto work with the Ireland Newfoundland Partnership’s head office in Dublin. Jennifer Tipple moves south to Belizeto work at the University of Belize’s Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre.

“Young Professionals International offers youth invaluable international work experience,” said program coordinator Willow Jackson. “These placements challenge participants both personally and professionally and we are very proud that MUN graduates have been so successful at meeting those challenges.”

Karen Patzold, a YPI participant who recently returned from Italy, added, “The internship gave me practical work experience. Working abroad in another culture was very rewarding; I got to experience and do things that I never would have been able to experience and do otherwise. It was invaluable in helping me become more well-rounded as a person and Canadian.”

The YPI program is an opportunity for post-secondary graduates to gain valuable global experience. Funded by the Government of Canada's Youth Employment Strategy, in partnership with Foreign Affairs Canada (FAC), the program assists graduates in making the transition from academic training to internationally-focused employment. Overseas positions are typically six to seven months in duration, but can be longer in some instances. Participants receive funding during their placement. Host organizations provide the supervision, work space, and resources, and help arrange lodgings for interns. In some cases host organizations also help with the costs of accommodation and air transportation.

Memorial University’s Faculty of Arts has been administering YPI placements since 1997 and to date has sent close to 100 youth participants to placements all over the world.

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