Langley, BC-This was no ordinary vacation. While other students searched for summer jobs, Trinity Western University Business student and Spartan soccer player Kris Alexander came face to face with the reality of Canadian politics. Alexander went to Ottawa with several other TWU students to stay at the Laurentian Leadership Centre for TWU's first ever summer travel study to the Ottawa extension site. "What better place to learn about the politics of business than in the capital," enthuses Alexander.
The two-week long travel study, which not only exposes students to VIP's, also provides them accredited courses in Business Law and Political Science that contribute to their degree. Over the course of two weeks, students were also exposed to several political speaker presentations, and visits to the Canada Mint, Parliament, the Supreme Court of Canada and Quebec City. Alexander states, "It blew my expectations out of the water on what I thought we were going to do and what we actually did." With a mix of fun and education, the students learned how Canadian government regulates business and what systems are put in place for enforcing the laws. Director of the LLC Janet Epp Buckingham says, "It was great to see the students really grasp how government regulates business." She adds that the students "were not just studying out of a book but seeing and hearing from those who make and apply the law."
Inspired to participate in the travel study by encouragement from Business Dean Kevin Sawatsky, who accompanied the students, Alexander found that the trip provided a unique experience. "A lot of what we learned in the morning classes was applicable to what we were going to see later in the afternoon," he says. "You can take what you read in the textbook and apply it to real life."
As a fourth-year Business student focusing on Marketing, Alexander was particularly excited about the class's visit to the Competition Tribunal. Acting Senior Legal Advisor, Lucia Shatat spoke to the group about the work that the tribunal does to ensure that businesses are operating their marketing and trade practices within the law. "This whole trip really opened my eyes to how much people in Ottawa and the policies that are made effect absolutely everything," reveals Alexander. He adds, "There's a lot of work going on behind the scenes that the government does that we don't normally see."
Alexander's travel study highlight was the numerous people he and other students met, in particular, MPs Rob Merrifield and John McKay, who joined the students for lunch at the Parliament Restaurant. The students were able to ask questions and foster one-on-one discussions with the MPs, one of whom Alexander has continued to communicate with. Alexander says, "You meet these politicians first hand and talk to them and realize they are the right guys to lead the country. I don't know if I had that impression going into the travel study."
TWU regularly offers other travel studies through the summer semester, but the Laurentian Leadership Centre travel study marks two firsts for the university. This is the first time that the LLC has hosted a TWU summer travel study, and the first time it has specifically targeted business students. During the fall and spring semesters, TWU students have the opportunity to complete a semester of courses at the LLC where they live, learn and study in a renovated heritage building, located less than a mile from Parliament Hill.
Coming back to Vancouver, Alexander rejoins his father's business, but his experiences in Ottawa remain on his mind. Alexander says, "It definitely opened my eyes to a whole different spectrum of things I could possibly do when I graduate."
For more information about the Trinity Western University Laurentian Leadership Centre go to http://www.twu.ca/sites/laurentian
Trinity Western University, in Langley, B.C. is an independent Christian liberal arts and sciences university enrolling approximately 4000 students. TWU offers undergraduate degrees in 40 major areas of study ranging from biotechnology, education, nursing, theatre and music, to psychology, communications and biblical studies. TWU's 16 graduate degree programs include counseling psychology, business, theology and leadership, and offers interdisciplinary studies in English, philosophy and history. TWU holds Canada Research Chairs in Biblical Studies, Biology and Interpretation, Religion & Culture.
Last Updated: 2008-06-25