Another chance to study abroad: A master’s degree in two countries with TRANSFOR-M

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The University of New Brunswick is offering yet another chance for students to travel around the world while earning their degrees. The Transatlantic Forestry Master dual degree program, or TRANSFOR-M, allows its participants to earn both a Canadian and a European Master’s Degree in Forestry and Environmental Management.

Those enrolled are given one year to spend in a Canadian institution and one year at a partner university in Europe to work on their degree.

The program, which began in 2010, is an extension of the original undergraduate exchange program, TRANSFOR. It benefits graduate students with an extensive knowledge of forest and environmental management and the cultural differences between Europe and Canada as well.

The Master’s program has spurred due to the “excellent and very successful cooperation between the consortium partners of the [original one],” says TRANSFOR-M Canadian coordinator, Dr. Brigitte Leblon.

“[It was also] motivated by the internationalization of curriculum in forestry and environmental management,” Leblon says, “[this happened due] to the need of educating the next generation of forest and environmental managers and scientists.”

Forest and environmental management is of global importance and TRANSFOR-M is operating on a global level.

UNB leads the Canadian side of the initiative, with the University of Alberta and the University of British Columbia on the list of schools that participants can choose to study with. On the European side, students can choose a variety of institutions to attend, such as Bangor University in Wales, the University of Eastern Finland and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

“My favourite part of the program is to see how happy the UNB students taking part in TRANSFOR-M are,” says the professor.

Thanks to the recruiting efforts of people like Leblon, TRANSFOR-M has benefitted UNB by drawing in a number of grad students. Its attractive list of opportunities—which includes a customization of each individual degree program, depending on where the student decides to do it—also plays a role in enrollment numbers. The advantages of this program go even further: until September 2014, nine students involved with TRANSFOR-M will receive funding from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) to aid with their travels.

One of UNB’s participants, Chris Smith, was quoted in a UNB Newsroom article, saying: “I’ve had some of the best experiences of my life over the last year and a half [that] I’ve been with this program… I’ve made lifelong friends, learned more about life than the four years of my undergraduate combined and have forged an exciting and worthwhile career path, all because I took a leap and enrolled in the TRANSFOR-M program.”

The deadline to apply for next year’s placements is Jan. 31; students are selected based on their GPA and extra-curricular involvement.

For more information on what you can do to become a candidate, contact Brigitte Leblon at bleblon@unb.ca.