Canada-Estonia Links to Strengthen with Youth Mobility Agreement

Minister Van Loan says new work and travel opportunities will give youth a competitive edge in global marketplace

(No. 218 - July 12, 2010 - 11:15 a.m. ET) The Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of International Trade, today announced that the Canada-Estonia Youth Mobility Agreement will take effect on August 1, 2010. The agreement will help young adults between the ages 18 and 35 from Canada and Estonia to travel and gain valuable work experience in each other’s country for up to one year.

Minister Van Loan made the announcement on behalf of the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, during a visit to Estonia.

“Canadian and Estonian youth will be able to gain a better understanding of each other’s languages, culture and society through a unique travel, life and work experience,” said Minister Van Loan. “These youths will build a new generation of collaboration and further strengthen the ties between Canada and Estonia.

“Canada and Estonia have a very positive relationship. Canada is home to the largest population of Estonians outside Estonia. The Tallinn and Tartu universities in Estonia both have Canadian studies programs and are actively involved in the Nordic Association for Canadian Studies.”

The Government of Canada has negotiated 28 such bilateral arrangements around the world under the International Experience Canada initiative. In 2009, more than 73,000 youth from Canada and around the world benefited from the opportunities these arrangements provided.

International Experience Canada exchanges give young people an understanding of other cultures through travel, life and work experience abroad.

“The exchange experience also enhances the personal and professional development of participants, giving them a competitive edge in the global job market,” said Minister Van Loan.

Individuals interested in the Canada-Estonia program are invited to submit their application starting August 1.

For additional information, consult International Experience Canada.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Fraser Malcolm
Office of the Honourable Peter Van Loan
Minister of International Trade
613-992-7332

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-996-2000