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SFU hopes working Australians will stay and study

New program allows undergraduate students to complete two degrees concurrently



Now Australians have yet another reason to come work in Whistler.

They can finish their undergraduate degree in Arts and Social Sciences at Simon Fraser University.

For the first time, a Canadian university has partnered with an Australian one, Monash in Melbourne, to offer a double degree program to both Australian and Canadian students.

Due to the complexities of graduating students with different degrees from different institutions, students starting this program at SFU will take five years to complete it. They will do two years at SFU, two at Monash and the final year at SFU. Students starting at Monash, where an undergraduate degree is typically completed in three years, will take four years to complete the two degrees — two at Monash and two at SFU.

“This way you are much more integrated into the culture and the language and the community than you would be if you were just traveling,” said Jane Fee of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS).

Staff at Monash spearheaded the program, which will see its first Australians here next year.

Monash is one of Australia’s eight leading research universities and has more than 50,000 students from more than 130 countries. The university has eight campuses: six in Australia, one in Malaysia and one in South Africa, and a centre in Prato, Italy. Students in the new double degree program may study at any of Monash’s campuses.

This is the first such program of its kind at SFU in the Arts program.

Fee hopes it will be very attractive to Australians who are also interested in working in Whistler as SFU works on a full trimester system allowing students to work all winter semester and go to school in the spring and summer terms.

“Many of our students, as soon as they graduate with their degree they disappear to places like Australia for a year or two, so we thought maybe there was an opportunity to allow them to study while there and get something extra,” she said.

“And Australians come to the Vancouver region for many reason and clearly one of the reasons is working and many go them go to Whistler…”

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