Pre-Departure Course for International Youth Internships


After over 40 years of training and research experience in intercultural effectiveness, the Centre for Intercultural Learning (CIL) has further deepened its understanding of the principles of building effective intercultural collaborations. CIL's Profile of the Interculturally Effective Person (IEP) describes actual behaviours linked to nine competencies and is the foundation for the pre-departure course.

The environment of international work has changed as a result of the forces of globalization. It is much more complex and multifaceted than it was just a few years ago. A recent study by the Centre inspired a new edition of the pre-departure course that gives more weight to two essential competencies: the ability to diagnose problems and to find innovative solutions working with and between partners; and personal and professional commitment to the sustainability of projects and programs through resilience.


This course is grounded in principles of adult learning. Experiential learning activities will encourage interns to draw on their own experience, frame it in a new way, add layers of knowledge, and apply that learning in their upcoming internships overseas.

This course focuses on the deepening of self-knowledge through an exploration of one's own cultural lens. The course equips learners with a variety of practical intercultural effectiveness tools that will help interns face ambiguous intercultural and interpersonal situations during their internship. Interns reflect on how their internship will contribute to development. The latest edition takes into account the increasingly complex environment of international development by broadening the application of intercultural learning with the inclusion of three new learning modules: the Context of Development; Collaboration; and the Internship.


This course is designed to increase the intercultural effectiveness of interns preparing to live and work in a different cultural context. In order to achieve this, participants will:

  • describe the influence of culture on human behaviour (including our own);
  • decode and bridge complex intercultural situations;
  • recognize the filters and communication styles that interfere in communication across cultures;
  • plan strategies for adjusting rapidly;
  • discuss the meaning of international development from a personal, national and international perspective;
  • develop an understanding of some of the key issues influencing collaboration; and
  • explore tools that will contribute to an effective internship.

Who should attend

Young Canadians participating in international internships. Whether it's a first assignment or one of many, most interns have some international experience and have completed post-secondary studies. However, the course is designed to be relevant and applicable to individuals possessing a broad range of international experience and educational backgrounds.

Availability and duration

This three-day course is offered in many cities across Canada. Primary locations are Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, and Halifax, however, geographic distribution of registered participants determines the location where the course will be delivered.

How can I register?

Register Now

Additional information

For more information, please communicate with the Centre at:

Telephone: 343-203-8400

Toll free (in Canada): 1-800-852-9211

Facsimile: 819-997-5409

Facsimile toll-free (in Canada): 1-877-723-1604


Participant comments

“I learned a lot and retained many good tools, anecdotes and tips. Thank you for everything. I would come back for more; it was good. This training enriched me a lot.”

“Very dynamic and interesting facilitation. Very concrete and useful content for an internship.”

“I found doing the activities to assimilate material was very relevant. We remember that much more.”