Summer Programs

Studying crops at the St. Albert Research Farm

Having fun playing Canadian football

Learning to curl at South Campus

Exploring pulp and paper at the Alberta Pacific Forest Industries

The Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences (ALES) at the University of Alberta offers a four-week summer program for international students wanting to study at a top Canadian university, while improving their English language skills and learning more about Canadian culture and practices.

The summer program includes lectures, field trips, communication skills training, and social activities. Students have the opportunity to experience campus life at one of Canada’s top universities, with some extra time for fun and exploration.


ALES Summer Program 2018

July 12 to August 12, 2018

Deadline for registration: May 1, 2018
Please contact Chantelle Sedgwick for more information or to register.

Students can choose from one of two packages. Each package consists of two courses. The University of Alberta does not offer credit for the courses, but your home university may choose to grant credit for them.

To complement the in-class learning, the packages offer a variety of field trips. Through hands-on experience, we aim to enhance the students’ learning experience and to provide students with the opportunity to develop various skill sets. We emphasize the importance of communication skills and expect that students will have their communication skills substantially improved.

Package A: Environmental Science Perspectives on Canadian Agriculture and Natural Resources

  • Course 1 - Introduction to Canadian Agriculture and Natural Resources Sectors

    Overview of the Course

    This course offers an overview of Canadian agriculture and natural resources (forestry and energy) from an environmental sciences perspective. The course begins with an introduction to the major crops grown in Alberta and Canada, and examines how crop production is managed. This is followed by an introduction to food production systems. Forestry, as a very important component of the natural resources sector, is then discussed. Students are provided with examples of competing uses of forest resources, e.g., the need for wildlife conservation versus use for timber extraction. In the last part of the course, students are introduced to the energy sector, with an overview of the sector and a focus on environmental issues related to the extraction of energy from the oil sands, e.g., the need to reclaim the disturbed land. 

    To support learning outcomes, the lectures are supplemented with several field trips, including trips to Alberta Pacific Forest Industries, the Edmonton Waste Management Centre, the St Albert Research farm, and the Agri-Food Discovery Place, among others.

    The ultimate goal of this course is to provide students a basic understanding of the unique Canadian agriculture and natural resources sectors, the opportunities and the challenges Albertans face, and the contribution of those sectors to the global community.  

     
  • Course 2 - Introduction to Forest Ecology and Management in Canada

    Overview of the Course

    This course provides students with an overview of key topics in forest ecology and management.  The course begins with an introduction to some of the basic concepts in forest/plant ecology and how those concepts apply to Canadian forest management. This is followed by a discussion of wildland fire, a very important ecological agent in boreal forests. The students are then immersed in the science of the management of wetlands, an important part of the boreal ecosystem. The course continues with coverage of other key aspects of forest ecology: the soil and its relationship with plant growth, and forests and global change. This course also offers training in research methodology and communication skills. Students have the opportunity to practice their English writing and public speaking skills. 

    To complement the in-class learning, the course will offer a variety of field trips, including a trip to the river valley to study plant ecology, a trip to the Devon Botanic Garden, and a trip to visit Elk Island National Park or a trip to discuss urban forestry issues. The course also includes several laboratories to provide students with hands-on experience. 

    The ultimate goal of this course is to provide students a basic understanding of the ecology of the Canadian boreal forest and the unique challenges and opportunities of managing this vast landscape within a diversity of ecological and economic values. Further, students will gain an understanding of the importance of the Canadian boreal forest to the global community. 

     

Package B: Socio-Economics of Canadian Agriculture, Natural Resources and Energy

  • Course 1: Introduction to Socio-Economic Issues and Policies in Canadian Natural Resources and Energy

    Overview of the Course

    This course offers an overview of socio-economic aspects of the management of a number of different types of natural resources in Canada. The course begins with an introduction to Canadian political systems and the rationale behind public involvement in the management of natural resources. Students are then provided with illustrations of how socio-economic reasoning and principles can help make informed decisions in the management of land, forest, wildlife, wetlands and other resources. Current issues such as development of the green energy sector and the management of wild lands for industrial development and as protected areas are discussed. 

    To support learning outcomes, the lectures are combined with a variety of field trips. In 2017, we offered field trips to Alberta Pacific Forest Industries, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton Waste Management Centre, Net-Zero show homes, and other places. 

    The ultimate goal of this course is to enable students to recognize some of the basic socio-economic phenomena that play a key role in the management of natural resources in Canada.  

     
  • Course 2: Introduction to Socio-Economic Issues and Policies in Canadian Food and Agriculture

    Overview of the Course

    This course offers an overview of the agriculture and food sector in Canada. Students are first provided with an introduction to the role of agriculture and food production and trade in the Canadian economy. Some of the major socio-economic issues and policies in Canadian agricultural and food sector are then discussed through a number of lectures on cooperatives, land-use, consumer trends, and other topics. Current issues such as development of urban agriculture and small food business management in Canada are also discussed in this course. This course also offers training in research methodology and communication skills. Students have the opportunity to practice their English writing and public speaking skills.

    To complement the in-class learning, the lectures are combined with a variety of field trips. In 2017, we offered field trips to University of Alberta’s St. Albert Research Farm, an Alberta grain farm, community gardens, urban farms, and other places.

    The ultimate goal of this course is to enable students to recognize some of the major trends, policies, and other basic socio-economic phenomena that play a key role in today’s Canadian agriculture and food sector.

Program Fee: The cost of package A or B is $4750/student.

What is Included:

  • Tuition
  • Accommodations
  • Transportation to and from the airport
  • City tour
  • Field trips
  • Social activities, orientation and farewell events. 

Students are responsible for meals. Restaurants are available across campus within walking distance. Students may choose to cook their own meals, which would be less costly, as each apartment contains a kitchen.


Optional Banff Trip

Alberta is known for its beautiful Rocky Mountains. Students will have the option of taking a three day trip to the Rocky Mountains to visit Banff National Park. The trip is at an additional cost.