By Natalie Lauren Koenig, Mass Communication
The Canadian-American Center provides students with multiple opportunities to immerse themselves in Canadian culture, both while at home or through educational travel. The center focuses its efforts on interdisciplinary teaching, promoting cross-border research and directing its outreach programs to state, regional and national audiences.
Designated as a National Resource Center on Canada by the United States Department of Education in 1979, and a founding member of the Northeast National Resource Center on Canada, the Canadian-American Center is one of the leading U.S institutes for the study of Canada.
Located at the University of Maine at 154 College Avenue, the Center coordinates programs for both undergraduate and graduate Canadian Studies education. The center works in collaboration with the Fogler Library, the Hudson Museum and the Maine Folklife Center.Canada Weeks, a series of lectures, exhibits, or field trips that vary in location from on campus, to South Portland, and even across the Canadian Border, is one of the many events organized by the center.
As one of this year’s more hands on activities, the center led a three day, Canadian Studies Field trip to Ottawa, Ontario, to allow UMaine students to experience Canada’s capital. The trip itinerary included tours of the National Gallery, the Museum of Civilization, Parliament Hill, and plenty of free time for students to explore the city. Students on the field trip were exposed to Canadian geography, history, culture, as well as political and social identity. Since affordability is a major concern, students will appreciate knowing all transportation costs, entry fees to museums and historic sites, and hotel accommodations are subsidized by the Canadian-American Center.
Students who want to participate in cross-border research are encouraged to apply for the Killam Fellowship. Each year, Fullbright Canada (the Foundation for Educational Exchange Between Canada and the United States of America) permits undergraduate students from Canada and the United States to participate in residential exchange programs. The small grants given by this program allow for the foundation’s multidimensional strategy of fostering mutual understanding between Canada and the United States to be put into action. The program is also supported by the American Killam Trusts and Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada.
The Killam Fellowship Award is a highly-competitive scholarship program funding 30 Canadian and American students each year to study in the other country. The 2014 Killam Fellowship has been awarded to marketing major and French minor, Erica Mendes. This award of $5,000 will be used towards her education next spring when she becomes a visiting student at the Université de Montréal in Québec.
“As a Killam Fellow, I want to explore the different language and culture of Montreal and learn something new about myself in the process. My academic goal for this experience is to develop fluency in French,” Mendes said, “My personal goal is to represent myself and my school with integrity, and to experience this different culture without reservation or judgment.”
For more information or to learn more about the Canadian-American Center, visit the Canadian-American Center’s webpage.