Part VII: International Education Week in the Faculty of Arts

Going Abroad with Caleb van der Leek

Sherilyn Trompetter - 22 November 2019

November 18-22 is International Education Week, which is celebrated in over 100 countries around the globe. During this week, we will be highlighting stories from students (and the Dean of Arts, Lesley Cormack!) who have gone abroad as part of their program in the Faculty of Arts.

All interviews conducted by Sherilyn Trompetter, Senior Officer International, Undergraduate Student Services, Faculty of Arts.

Meet Caleb van der Leek who is in the BDes program in Art & Design.

Hi Caleb! Where did you go and what did you do?

I went to Münster, Germany to study Industrial and Communication Design

At what point in your academic program did you go?

This trip landed in my fourth year of university, and my third year in the design program.

Why did you go?

Going to Germany was a chance to broaden my life and design experience. I had never before left north America and by doing this trip I pushed myself into the realm of the uncomfortable and forced myself to think seriously about what I was doing through my studies.

What delighted you about your experience?

The ability to work with a group of students in the same field but with entirely different backgrounds, as well as the possibility to see the art and design I had learned about in textbooks for real.

How did the experience influence you?

I have a new appreciation for design and also those that chose to work abroad. During this exchange I have never been more stressed or more excited about life. There was this wonderful balance of new challenges but also new incredible experiences.

What surprised you when you got back home?

How a culture I thought was so similar, was actually so very different, and how much slight cultural differences change how people are raised and experience life.

What advice would you have for Arts undergrad students who are considering a study abroad option?

Do it, take the risk, push yourself through the difficult times so you can experience the great ones!

Check out our amazing Study Abroad programs here!