Aerial view of mountain with rice fields

Global Indigenous Skills

Two young children smiling while standing on a colourful stone wall

"Purest Smile"

Jing Zhan

The Global Indigenous Skills program is funded by Global Skills Opportunity (GSO) - the Government of Canada’s Outbound Student Mobility Pilot Program. Its aim is to invest in global skills for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students, cultivating leadership, identity awareness, and global networks related to Indigenous ways of knowing, doing, connecting, and being. 

Successful applicants to UCalgary's Global Indigenous Skills program will participate in one of the programs listed below, which will be enhanced by wraparound leadership and intercultural capacity-building programming.

Join the Global Indigenous Skills Program

Eligibility requirements to receive GSO funding:

  • Must be a UCalgary undergraduate student in good academic standing

  • Must have Canadian citizenship or permanent residency status

  • Must be 18 years of age or older

  • Must have applied for, and be accepted into, one of the GSO-Funded Programs listed on this page

  • Must submit an additional GSO Scholarship application

All eligible students will be given more instructions on the application after being admitted to a GSO-Funded Program. Indigenous students, students with disabilities, and students with demonstrated financial need may receive priority for funding and/or a higher amount of overall funding.

Please note that the GSO-Funded Programs listed on this page have their own eligibility requirements for prospective participants (e.g. minimum GPAs or other requirements); details can be found by selecting "More information" under each program listed.

While international students at UCalgary are welcome to participate in these programs, they are not eligible for the Government of Canada's GSO funding. We recommend checking the Global Learning Funding Page (click here) for information about alternate funding sources you may be eligible for instead.

If interested in participating, please note that you must submit an application both to your desired GSO-Funded Program and to the GSO Scholarship. 

For applications to GSO-Funded Programs, please see the programs listed above and click on "More information". This will bring you a program-specific page with instructions on how to apply. All programs require, at minimum, an online application in the RAISA system (click here).

After you apply in RAISA for your program, please go to the Funds section in RAISA and select the "2023 Global Skills Opportunity Scholarship". It is a simple online application and you can apply immediately! 

Once your applications have been approved, congratulations - you are officially attending your desired program and you will receive the GSO Scholarship. You will be emailed instructions to access the online scholarship portal and have to complete several important steps in order to receive funding, including: 

  • creating a profile in the GSO online portal 

  • completing a 15-minute Pre-Departure Form (required for both travel-based and virtual programs)

All grant recipients must participate in a promotional event or contribute a promotional submission that is equivalent to 2 hours of volunteer work or comparable effort.

Please let us know what promotional requirement you would like to participate in by emailing the International Study Travel Grant email at We suggest picking 2 options in case your first one is not available. 

Here is a PDF version of the list.

1. Volunteer for in-person marketing events or promotional assistance: 

This requires a time commitment of 2 hours total or 2 shifts. All the necessary information will be prepared and provided to you. Most of our marketing events occur in September and throughout the Fall semester, with limited opportunities in early Winter semester. Opportunities include: 

  • Tabling: Sign up to help staff one of our promotion tables, hand out brochures, and help answer general questions. You will need to sign up for 2 shifts to complete your 2-hour volunteer commitment. You will be notified when shifts have been created and posted in Elevate. We will have multiple opportunities to sign up for shifts throughout the semester. 

  • Postering: Help us get posters up around campus! You will take a set of posters to designated buildings where you will ensure all the notice boards have our posters. Please be sure to hit all the floors of the buildings. You will need to sign up for 2 shifts to complete your 2-hour volunteer commitment. You will be notified when shifts have been created and posted in Elevate. We will have multiple opportunities to sign up for shifts throughout the semester. 

  • Classroom Visits: Give a brief presentation on study abroad opportunities (slides provided). These spaces are quite limited, so please pick a back-up option in case these are not available. 

  • Info Sessions/Presentations: Join one of our info sessions to satisfy your requirements. Please note, these are invitation only by instructors or Global Learning Advisors. Let us know if you are interested in participating in a presentation, info session, or panel and we will make note of it - but plan to have another option in place to fulfill your requirements as these opportunities are quite limited.

  • Volunteering with a non-Global Learning event (outside of our office): Volunteering for events not organized by the Office of Global Learning but still affiliated with a UCalgary faculty or department can count towards your hours but are subject to approval. These events must contain a component of promoting a Global Learning program or experience. Please send an email with details to prior to the event for approval.

2. Apply to be a Content Creator: 

While you are abroad you can apply to be a Content Creator. Our Content Creators write blogs, collect and submit photos, and help with Social Media promotions and takeovers. Being a Content Creator fulfills your entire promotional requirements. Applications to be a Content Creator typically open in the month or two ahead of your departure. Please email us at and CC if you have any questions or are interested! Please note, this option is not available if you have already returned from your program.

3. Write a blog or article: 

Students who write a blog for our UCalgary Abroad page about their experience in one of our programs can have their 2-hour requirement fulfilled. If you are interested in writing a blog, please notify our team at and follow the instructions provided in our Blog Guidelines

There are instances where other forms of writing or articles might count towards your requirements. This includes writing for other UCalgary online sources that promote study abroad opportunities (e.g. a faculty’s blog, website, or program information page), articles that are published by on-campus publications (e.g. Gauntlet, UThisWeek), articles written for relevant student club newsletters, or if you were interviewed by or wrote for your host institution while abroad (we would need permission to re-post and share the article on our blog page). Please contact to discuss any of these possibilities.

If you wish to use articles published on your personal blog towards your promotional requirement, you will need to contact in advance to discuss this. 

4. Submit a collection of photos: 

Students who submit 15-30 photos can have their 2-hour requirement fulfilled. These photos should document your study abroad experience, with special emphasis on the student experience (i.e. photos of you and friends at your host university and host city, not on landscapes). The goal is to use these photos in our marketing materials, so ensure they are good quality and high resolution. 

Please notify our team that you intend to submit photos for your requirements at and follow these instructions: 

  • Select 15-30 high quality, high-resolution photos with good lighting and clear focus. photos must be in jpeg or png format (no heic photos please)

  • Label each photo

  • Create a separate word document that describes/gives context to each photo and your study abroad experience (do NOT put your photos in this document) 

  • We will create a unique google drive link for you to submit your photos. Please email us at to let us know when you are ready and we will send that link to you. 

  • Download and sign this release form

  • Upload your photos, word document, and release form to your Google Drive file

Please note, all photos must be submitted individually. Do NOT put them in a word doc, pdf, etc. Pasting/saving photos in a document not only makes it difficult to utilize for materials, but it severely degrades their quality. 

5. Social Media Takeover: 

One of the ways that you can fulfil your 2-hour volunteer requirement is to create a one-day social media takeover for us. This involves sharing stories and pictures about your experience in your program. If this is what you would like to do to satisfy your requirements, please email us at You will be given instructions on how to sign up through Elevate. These opportunities are limited and fill up quickly, so please pick a back-up promotional requirement in case this option is no longer available. 

6. Enter our International Video Contest: 

Each Fall semester in the month of October the University of Calgary International (UCI) holds an International Video Contest. Students who have been abroad are encouraged to submit a short video promoting the city, university, and experience they had while abroad. Submissions can count for the following hour equivalents: 

  • A shorter “reel” style submission of 60-seconds will count towards 1-hour of volunteer work. You will need to sign up for additional postering or tabling to fulfil the rest of this requirements 

  • A longer submission video format (usually around 5-6 minutes) will count towards a full 2-hours of volunteer work 

Please refer to our International Video Contest website for more information on the contest and how to apply. If we are outside of the contest window and you are not able to submit an entry, please select a different option to fulfil your requirements. 

7. Enter (and win) our International Photo Contest:

Students who enter and place in the International Photo Contest (honorable mention or higher) can receive 1-hour worth of volunteering credit towards their promotional requirement. Make sure to notify the coordinator at regarding your participation. 

For instructions on how to enter, please check our International Photo Contest Page. The photo contest is usually held during the Winter semester. Please note, simply submitting photos to the International Photo Contest is not sufficient for fulfilling your requirement.

8. Volunteer at the Global Learning Office as an Ambassador: 

Students who volunteer as Global Learning Ambassadors will have their promotional requirement fulfilled. As an ambassador you will assist students interested in our programs, conduct peer advising, and help with promotional activities throughout the semester/year that you are involved.  

This is a formal, long-term role in our office that you must apply for. Applications are typically taken once per year, usually in April or May. Please see the website for more information. If we are outside of the application window, please select a different option to fulfil your requirements for the travel grant. 

9. Suggest an idea!  

We are always looking for new promotional suggestions. Let us know your idea by emailing us at to see if it will count toward your hours! 

Upon your return, you must complete our Program Survey. This is due within three weeks of completing your period abroad.

Click here for the 2022/23 survey

Any questions or technical difficulties should be directed to

Your next chapter is abroad - promotional image from GSO

GSO-Funded Exchange Programs

On an exchange, students study at another university for either one semester or one academic year, choosing from that university's course offerings and receiving transfer credit back to their UCalgary degree. The universities below have committed to providing Indigenous education and engagement opportunities, including internship, research, or service learning placements for Indigenous students or within local Indigenous communities.

Newcastle beach aerial view with blue skies above

University of Newcastle (Newcastle, Australia)

Take in the landscapes of eastern Australia in this compact coastal city surrounded by natural bushland, just a couple hours outside Sydney. (Note: exchange applications are open for both Fall 2024 and Winter 2025, however, the GSO Funding is only available for Fall 2024. At UoN the semester dates are July to November 2024.)

Curtin campus orange buildings with grassy plaza

Curtin University (Perth, Australia)

Enjoy west coast beach life at one of Australia's most research-intensive universities, ranked in the top 1% worldwide. Curtin is also known for its award-winning architecture and emphasis on student spaces!

Melbourne downtown at dusk

La Trobe University (Melbourne, Australia)

Experience the vibrant multicultural city of Melbourne from the comfort of its suburbs - the location of La Trobe's main campus and home to some of its more whimsical art pieces.

Looking at Auckland from across a narrow strait, with gulls on the beach

University of Auckland (Auckland, New Zealand)

Sandwiched between bustling harbours, Auckland's thriving downtown core is the site of the university's main campus.

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Coming Soon

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Coming Soon

GSO-Funded Group Study Programs

Group Study Programs are international field schools, where a UCalgary instructor leads a group of students abroad (or through an intercultural experience at home). These programs are short-term in the spring or summer and offer UCalgary course credit. As part of their connection to the Global Indigenous Skills program, participants will receive wraparound learning on Indigenous community leadership, supported by UCalgary's Writing Symbols Lodge.

Women working and processing a food harvest

Community and Sustainable Development in India: Focus on Families

This brand-new program will take you to Delhi & Dharmshala, where you will live alongside local community collectives, observe the application of sustainable development goals in India, and explore topics related to social justice, development, and change.

 Xochimilco - River Tour by Roberto Carlos Roman Don on Unsplash

Mexico City: Past and Present

Examine the past and present of one of the world's most fascinating cities! You will study environmental, cultural, and political history in the colonial and modern eras to understand the processes that manifested to make this megacity.

A Japanese Indigenous building with a large eagle on the front and totems on either side

Community Building through Meaningful Collaboration in Japan

Through engagement with the Ainu (Indigenous peoples of Hokkaido), you will learn about Japan's dynamic settler-Indigenous relationship and the ways that Ainu and non-Ainu peoples have come together to build a vibrant community.