2015 Oregon State University Students Study/Visit Canada

Between June 15- 26th 2015, fifteen students and two professors from Oregon State University, traveled to Canada in order to begin an educational exploration of: globalization, homelessness, Aboriginal history, Canadian politics, marijuana policy, international trade, immigration, education, and ethnic relations.

The highlight of the twelve day action learning experience was to be able to observe, listen, and talk to Canadians in Victoria and Vancouver about their culture, social, political, and economic life. The group travelled to Canada using two OSU twelve passenger vans and they lived in the student residence facilities at the University of Victoria and the University of British Columbia. While in Canada, the students were responsible for: completing readings, listening to expert speakers, debriefing meetings, doing presentations, formulating questions, trying different ethnic cuisine, and visiting museums and art galleries. The intentional programming of activities for students was pedagogically important because of the short duration of time the students were residing in Canada.

Prior to visiting Canada in June, the students completed a ten week spring pre-departure class entitled: Canadian society, culture, and politics through film. This class introduced the students to Canada through lectures, readings, group activities, and films. This class prepared the students to arrive in Canada with a broad base of knowledge about the country’s history, culture, society, economy, and politics.


Course Directors 


 Professors Dwaine Plaza & Lauren Plaza

The School of Public Policy

Office of Global Opportunities (OSU Go)

LINK to the 2015 Spring Term Syllabus:

LINK to the 2015 Summer Term Syllabus:

Emily & Jamie captured the excitement of the students on the ferry crossing from Vancouver to Victoria on June 15th 2015.

Andrea Walsh

Dr. Andrea Walsh (University of Victoria) lectured about the 2015 Truth and Reconcilliation commission report on Canada’s Aboriginal people. 

The group attended a 2015 qualifying World Cup match (Canada vs Switzerland).

              in Victoria
The group was led by Mr. John Adams on a historical tour of Victoria.

Group at
                marijuana business
The group was hosted by Mr. Dana Larson the director of Sensible B marijuana dispensary in Vancouver.

                  of the Fraser Valley
The students were hosted by the faculty from the Sociology Department at the University of the Fraser Valley.

The group was hosted by Ms. Dara Parker the director of QMUNITY-- an LGBTQ Resource Center in BC.

As part of a food journal the students were required to dine at five diverse ethnic restaurants throughout Vancouver and Victoria.

The group had lunch and a global trade relations lecture provided by Ms. Lynne Platt U.S. General Council General in Vancouver.

The group was led by Victor Ngo & Jeremy Stone on a gentrification walking tour of Vancouver.

The students were given a tour of the Ross Street Sikh Temple Museum in Vancouver. Lunch was also served.

The students visited the Ross Bay Cemetery in Victoria and were given a guided walking tour by Mr. Tom Pound.

The students met and informally interviewed a Vancouver police officer on Hastings Street.

The students met with Dr. Rob Turnbull the director of the --Street Home Foundation.

The students visited the Musqueam Tribal Museum and were given a history lecture by the senior achivist-- Jason Woolman.

The students enjoyed a crab and salmon lunch during the Aboriginal Day celebration at the Musqueam Tribal Center June 19th

The students were given a guided tour of the Vancouver Chinese Cultural Centre Museum and the Hasting Street Chinese community.

The students were hosted by Professor Linc Kesler-- Director of the First Nations House of Learning at the University of British Columbia.


The students were hosted by Jordan Mara at Hootesuite Social Media Software headquarters in Vancouver.

Student Constructed YouTube Videos

Students worked alone or in pairs to construct three to five minute YouTube videos that captured their research interest in Canada. The topics selected by the students varied and reflected the diverse experiences the group had while visiting Vancouver and Victoria.

Each video is made from photos taken in Canada by the students and is accompanied by text or voice over commentary. The topics range from: Aboriginal issues, Canada’s role in World War II, Marijuana policy in Canada, French Canadian culture, Nightlife in Vancouver, Emily Carr’s life, Totem Pole symbolism, and Canadian culture.

To watch any of the student made YouTube videos, double click on the theme below. This will automatically take you to the respective student’s YouTube production.

Diana Robbins --     Emily Carr an artist and hero in Canada

Katheryn M --      Canada’s Military role in World War 11

Scott Lyons --       Canadian culture through one lens

Amanda Rieskamp & Darien Stites -- French Canadian culture

Chris Willett & Dustin Price -- Canadian nightlife

Adriana Davis & Marie Davis -- Aboriginal People in Canada

Jamie Davis & Emily Cruse -- The Streets of BC Canada

Brandi Berger & Madeline Bowman -- Totem Pole Symbolism in BC Canada

Laurel Hickman --  Marijuana Policy in Canada


Link to Other Classes Taught by Professor Dwaine Plaza