It is the classic UFV India student transfer story: flights are booked to Vancouver, Canadian visas are in-hand, and course registration is complete.
This time the equation is flipped — three UFV India professors are “transferring” to Canada on April 19th for two-weeks of professional development training. Two will stay in Canada for the summer semester to teach courses at the University of the Fraser Valley.
“I will be stepping into my student’s shoes and learning from their perspective,” says Professor Aseem Raj Kaur who will be teaching Object-oriented Programming and Computerized Business Applications at the Abbotsford campus.
The trio understands the challenge Indian students face when transitioning to Canada. They view this trip as an opportunity to better understand the student transfer experience.
“I’ve never been too far from my home — it will be a new feeling”.
Initially, the group will receive professional development training (facilitated by the UFV Teaching and Learning department), meet with their faculty coordinators, and tour the Abbotsford and Chilliwack UFV campuses.
In addition to learning more about pedagogical innovation in Canadian higher education, the trio will give a presentation to UFV faculty and staff at UFV’s official Professional Development Day. Topics covered will include an overview of the Indian education system, challenges UFV India students face, and how UFV India students succeed during their transition to Canada.
“We will be exchanging stories”, notes Economics Professor Rajesh Ahuja. “UFV faculty and staff will be hearing about our experiences in Chandigarh and they will be telling us about their experiences in Canada”.
After becoming familiar with the campus, the faculty will take on their new teaching assignments.
“Teaching in Canada will be a whole new kind of training”, notes Dr. Sonia Gupta who will be teaching Economic and Business Statistics at the Abbotsford campus.
“I will be integrating myStatLab and Blackboard into the classroom and will see how it makes my course more effective. I will also get to know how students register in Canada and what process will be followed. It is going to be fun and I expect to learn many things.”
In fact, the faculty suspects that they may learn just as much as their new students.
“I will enhance my teaching skills, gain a lot of exposure with international students, and learn about the teacher-student relationship in Canada”, notes Professor Kaur. “I’m a learner and I’m looking forward to learning something new.”