2020 Training Programme:
What to Expect
What does the course cover?
Generally speaking, the training programme will challenge you to step
out of your field of specialisation and expose you to key issues in
ocean governance through an interdisciplinary approach. The 2020
modules are likely to range from Ocean Sciences and Integrated
Coastal and Ocean Management, to Law of the Sea and Principled Ocean
Governance. To get a good sense of what to expect, check out the
details from the 2019 course
brief lecture outlines, when provided as the 2020
programme should be quite similar.
Lectures and presentations are given by up to 100
specialists from a
of disciplines and backgrounds, and include academics, policy-makers
and practitioners. See the list of 2019
speakers. Most are based
in Canada, but many have extensive international experience, and some
experts from other countries are brought in to enrich the perspectives
How heavy is the workload?
The course is very intensive, with a lot of
material to cover in a relatively short time. Classes are held from
Monday to Friday, with a normal day expected to run from 9.00 to around
with an hour and a half for lunch. Attendance is required at all
sessions. You should also be prepared for some evening and weekend
work, as well as field trips. All participants are expected to play an
active role in class and do the required preparations and assignments,
so you should only apply if you are keen to work hard for two months!
What about readings or assignments?
Once selected, participants should begin by consulting the Course
section of this
website, which includes links to both the course reader and a number of
useful materials which you are encouraged to review before arriving in
Halifax. (Please note that this will be updated nearer the time.)
Individual lecturers will also assign
background readings and/or assignments during the training programme,
and there is a course-long simulation, as well as some shorter
exercises. These will involve preparation, reading and/or
group work out of class hours. In addition, all participants are asked
to prepare a 20 minute case-study before they arrive, to
present at some point during the
Should I start arranging my own travel as soon as I am
No, please discuss travel options with us BEFORE you make any
arrangements! In most cases travel is arranged by either IOI or your
and you will be expected to arrive and leave on specific dates just
before and after the course. Please note that this year we require all
airline tickets to have robust
cancellation and interruption insurance
which would enable participants to change their travel plans in
the (hopefully unlikely!) event of e.g. illness,
quarantine, travel bans, course
What about visas?
Participants are responsible for getting a Canadian visa or eTA, and
cover the costs associated with this (application fee, cost of travel
to Embassy/High Commission/Visa Application Centre etc.). Regulations
have recently changed and in most
cases applicants are also required to provide biometrics (fingerprints,
photographs) in person at e.g. a VAC. Please
ensure you get accurate
and up-to-date information
from the relevant High
Commission/Embassy and visa section of the official Canadian
Citizenship website (www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/index.asp),
requirements vary from year to year, and from country to country. New
VACs were due to open in late 2019 so your closest centre may not be
the same as in previous years.
very important that you start this application process as soon as you
offered a confirmed place on the programme, as the process can take
weeks or even months in some cases. You are also responsible for any
transit visas, so check carefully what is required and how long the
application will take. And don't forget that you will be
a passport while your visa is being processed so do not make any
international travel plans in the run-up to the training
Will I be met at the airport? What if it is late at
A driver will be sent to collect you from the airport and deliver you
to the residence, regardless of the time of day or night.
room is available from two nights before the course begins, so arriving
late on either of those nights is not a problem.
What accommodation is provided?
Accommodation is arranged by IOI-Canada, with participants living
together in a student residence close to the classroom, libraries and
computer facilities. We can accommodate you from two nights
before the start of the course, and you may stay for up to two nights
the final class. Any accommodation outside those dates is the
responsibility of the participant.
Within the student residence, you will have your own bedroom
in a flat shared with two or three other participants of the same sex.
Bathroom and kitchen facilities are shared, and the
residence has a laundry room and a communal lounge with television on
each floor. Note
is student accommodation so don't expect a fancy,
luxurious hotel -- consider it a nostalgic return to student lifestyle!
If a field trip involves an overnight stay, accommodation will be
arranged for you. It is possible you might have to share a room with
someone of the same sex for the field trip, but if so, you would be
given plenty of notice and be consulted on your choice of room-mate.
Will I need to bring any household stuff?
The residence is fully furnished, and your room will have a bed with
chair, wardrobe etc. plus wifi. You will be provided with clean sheets
towels on a weekly basis, and will have access to coin/card-operated
machines and dryers plus iron and ironing board for your personal
The communal kitchens will be equipped with applicances,
utensils and crockery.
What about meals?
Some group meals plus class coffee breaks will be provided but
you will be responsible for preparing many of your own meals at the
residence, using the stipend for buying food. This may be a learning
experience for those who are not used to cooking for themselves, but it
is a very valuable life skill to acquire! Some participants also enjoy
sharing meal preparations with their classmates and learning about
other national dishes. Be warned that you will all be expected to clean
up after yourselves -- another useful life skill!
What about money?
Participants are expected to continue to receive their normal salary. A
modest but adequate allowance is provided to cover your essential
living expenses during the programme, e.g. groceries, toiletries as
well as minor course-related expenses such as photocopying, printing,
stationery etc. It is not intended to cover such things as eating out,
international telephone calls, souvenirs and presents, clothes, etc. so
you would have to bring your own funds for such items. Again, it may be
helpful to consider it a two-month return to a basic student lifestyle!
What clothing should I bring?
Classroom dress is informal, although you may want something more
formal for occasions such as the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and the
course photograph. You may well find it cool, or even cold.
Temperatures vary a lot, but will probably be between 10 and 25
bring some warm clothing. Comfortable shoes are very important, as some
field trips involve quite a bit of walking. And given that Halifax is a
coastal city and can be wet, you should bring a raincoat and umbrella.
One of the most important things to bring is an openness to new
experiences. You will be studying and living with people from a very
wide range of countries and backgrounds, and will need to be tolerant
of different attitudes, values, religions and behaviour. The Canadian
weather, lifestyle and food will also almost certainly be different
from at home, so be prepared to adapt to them. Things won't necessarily
be done the way you're used to, and you may be expected to do things
you aren't accustomed to. Perhaps you're used to having a driver, and
will need to adjust to having to walk to places. Maybe you're not
usually expected to make coffee or tea for others, or to cook for
yourself, but will have to take your turn in the classroom refreshments
rota, as well as preparing many of your own meals. Possibly you're from
a culture where men typically dominate the discussion and
decision-making, and will have to adjust to female and male
participants being treated as equals. This may well mean moving beyond
your personal comfort zone, but will be an important and very valuable
aspect of your two months in Canada.
What about after the course?
As noted on the application form, all participants are expected to use
and share their new knowledge and skills on their return home. During
the course, you will be asked to identify relevant ways you can do
this, and some months after you have returned, you will be expected to
provide written follow-up demonstrating what activities you have
engaged in. You will also be encouraged to stay in contact with your
classmates and get involved in any local alumni activities.
And if I have other questions?
You will be sent more information nearer the time, and when you arrive
you will be provided with a booklet of information with answers to many
of the questions you might have. The Course Co-ordinator will hold an
initial information session when the participants have all arrived, and
will be available to help you settle in. Obviously the internet is also
a great source of answers to general questions you might have, whether
University. For those
visiting a different culture for the first time, some of the
University's helpful hints on Living Across Cultures
might be of interest. But if you have any pressing questions that
remain unanswered, feel free to contact the IOI office at firstname.lastname@example.org.