We joined a class of doctoral students at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and did their readings, lectures and fieldwork for a month. What did that fieldwork entail?
Keisha Derrick Bachelor of Global and International Studies (BGInS) Arthur Kroeger College and Institute of African Studies Congratulations on being one of the first graduates of the Bachelor of Global and International Studies degree. What attracted you to the program?
At first, I chose a double major in Journalism and African Studies, but it wasn’t the right fit for me. When I read about BGInS, I was immediately interested. I liked that I didn’t have to choose just one other subject, but could get a really well-rounded education in subjects like Political Science, Law and Economics. I chose the Africa and Globalization specialization because my family is from the Caribbean and I’m interested in the African diaspora and how it has changed globally. What was one of the highlights of your experience?
I went to South Africa with Professor Blair Rutherford as part of the African Studies 3100 course, which is held in a different country each year. FPA Voices • Page 7
We were studying migration and the effect on migrants’ health. We drove towards the border with Mozambique and talked to Mozambiquan farm workers. We also talked to a local mobile health team that goes to various farms around the area to ensure people get check-ups, HIV tests and medication. Then we spoke to the owner of a farm and the workers along the border with Zimbabwe. It was interesting because the system of migrant work is similar to Canada’s, but I was learning from and talking to people from very different backgrounds in South Africa. It made me realize that I could go to graduate school if I wanted to. What else did you appreciate about the degree?
We didn’t only study geography, but communication, information, culture and economics. It also gave me a lot of opportunities to meet different groups in Ottawa, which was really special to me. It changed the way I see myself and interact with the world. What’s next for you?
I got a position as a pension assistant for the Canadian Forces through the Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP). It’s now full-time indeterminate. It gives me a chance to use my research skills, time management and critical thinking. But I am still considering an advanced degree.