About the Global Engagement Office

About us

The Global Engagement Office (GEO) works to foster a global campus community where inclusiveness, equity, open-mindedness, curiosity, and humility are nurtured at home and abroad.

GEO creates a collaborative approach to comprehensive internationalization efforts at UBCO, working with partners, students, staff, and faculty to create opportunities for all students to gain relevant international and intercultural experiences at home and abroad.

GEO includes International Student Advising, Go Global: International Learning Programs, and Intercultural Programming. GEO oversees international student advising, intercultural learning, language exchange programming, student safety abroad, mobility & international research (VIRS), student mobility partnerships, and faculty-led programming abroad.

GEO Leadership Team

Originally from Germany, I grew up moving a lot and have been fortunate to gain experience studying, living, and working internationally.  I received my Master’s degree in International Relations with honours from the Universiteit Leiden in the Netherlands where I was a Nuffic Huygens scholar and completed my doctoral studies at the University of Calgary. My dissertation and research focused on the internationalization of higher education and the nexus of government policy, immigration policies/programs, institutional programming, and international student career transitions.

In addition to my role at UBC, I am a member of the Central Okanagan Local Immigration Partnership Committee, the immediate past Co-Chair of the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) National Immigration Advisory Committee, an instructor/guest lecturer for CBIE’s International Student and Immigration Education Program (ISIEP), and Senior Advisor, Learning and Development at the Canadian Bureau for International Education. I also am a member of the Board of Advisors for Isempower, a career ecosystem designed to support international students in the transition from studies to career and a member of the Board of the Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA). Before joining UBC, I was at the Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) with their International and Executive MBA programmes, and prior to that at The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies (HCSS) in the Netherlands.

The team at the Global Engagement Office is here to support you throughout your studies. If you aren’t sure where to start with your query, stop by our office and connect with our staff to get you started!

Dana Lowton, headshotI am in my 16th year with Go Global and have loved watching it grow over the past decade. I am a BA graduate from UBC Okanagan and an MEd graduate from UBC Vancouver and spent part of that degree in Copenhagen. I’ve recently completed my PhD with a focus in overseas short-term programs. I have a serious love of traveling, reading, and lifelong learning.

I have learned an incredible amount while abroad and I’ve taken quite a few solo adventures. I highly recommend traveling alone at least once as it squashes fears and will boost your confidence to continue exploring. I fully believe that studying overseas is what you make it, so go abroad with an open mind and say yes to experiences no matter how scary they might sound at first. Introduce yourself to new people and don’t hide in your dorm room!

I have a Masters of Arts from Carleton University with a specialization in Women’s and Gender studies (migration and diaspora). I have over 6 years of experience working in the field of human rights and migration policy. I have also completed a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Gender Studies from the University of Victoria. I manage the Intercultural Development Program at UBCO to provide intercultural training to students and staff on topics related to mental health, cross-cultural communication, social justice, and professional development.

I also work as an Intercultural Consultant across campus and within the broader Okanagan community to provide strategic direction on equity and diversity projects and publications. I am also a volunteer advisory board member of the Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan and an Associate Lead of the International Network of Tomorrow’s Leaders (INTL) of the Canadian Bureau of International Education (CBIE). I am passionate about meeting and interacting with students from all over the world. I hope you have a successful academic year and I look forward to meeting you.

GEO Programming & Administration

I am a fourth year Computer Science major and Data Science minor student at the UBC Okanagan campus. I was born in Ecuador and raised in Bermuda before studying abroad here in Canada, having these differentiating cultural experiences have allowed me to gain a better understanding of the importance of developing both personal intercultural fluencies as well having resources to better aid personal development.  

Throughout my time at UBC Okanagan I began volunteering at the UBCO Global Engagement Office and found that I was greatly interested in providing support for international students as well as further developing intercultural abilities. Therefore, I began my Co-op work experience with the UBCO Global Engagement Office as a Project Coordinator with the main goal of helping other international students feel at home here in Canada as well as providing high quality programming and assisting in providing support services to all UBC students.  

International Student Advising

I completed a Master’s of Education at UBC’s Okanagan campus and a Bachelor of Law at Northwest University in China. I have over six years experience working with international students in both secondary and post secondary schools.

I am familiar with the cultural adjustment process for international students, and have extensive experience providing international student services, such as settlement support, personal issue support, health care advising, and connecting students with cultural activities and supports within the community.

From a very young age I have been moving and travelling around the world. I was born in Iran but left as a young child. My family moved to Scotland, then to Canada. As a young adult my travelling spirit continued to spur me on. I started my undergraduate degree at Okanagan College in Kelowna (before there was a UBCO), but then completed it at Sonoma State University in San Francisco. I travelled to China as part of my undergrad program. My student experience was so incredible there, that I returned to China, after I was married, and we lived, worked and raised a family there for the next 19 years.

After returning to Canada in 2012, I began a position as an International Student Specialist at the University of Alberta. I became a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant in 2014 and have been working to support international students through their journeys ever since. I am a keen advocate for international students. My passion is to see international students thrive!

I am so pleased to be part of the UBCO Global Engagement Office and bring my expertise in supporting the international graduate students and their families.

I am a global citizen born in Kampala, Uganda, raised in Pretoria, South Africa, and currently residing on these beautiful Syilx Okanagan Nation lands as a uninvited guest. I hold over 10 years of experience working with students thanks to my passion for education, which inspired me to pursue a career in the higher education sector with a focus on student recruitment, settlement support, career advising and administration.

I have Master of Arts in Intercultural and International Communications from Royal Roads University, a Master of Arts in Multidisciplinary Human Rights Law from the University of Pretoria, a Bachelor of Arts Hons in Augmentative & Alternative Communications and a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Communications both from the University of Pretoria.

I place a high value on student success, and I enjoy getting to know, interacting with, and helping students to realise their full potential.

Go Global Advising

As a frequent traveller and dual-citizen of Canada and the United Kingdom, I am well aware of some of the unique challenges and obstacles that students may encounter both when considering whether to go and while on exchange. Having completed two degrees at UBC Okanagan (BA and BEd), I know how easy it is to find reasons not to go on exchange and am passionate about encouraging students to take advantage of the opportunity to go on exchange while they can (speaking from experience of someone who did not take the opportunity to go abroad and regrets it on regular occasion).

My goal as your Go Global Advisor is to help you have the best exchange experience possible while ensuring you meet all requirements for graduation. No matter where you decide to Go Global, it is a life-changing decision that you will never regret in life!

I recently completed my Masters of Business Administration, and when I’m not head deep in work or study, my passions include travel, playing & watching football (soccer), supporting Liverpool FC, and continued learning/development.

As a former participant in UBCO’s Go Global program (2017), I will be the first person to share how impactful an international learning experience can be. Aside from my exchange to Sciences Po’s Paris campus, I have a background of international travel across 5 continents and 18 countries (11 of which I travelled to/returned to during the 8 months I was on exchange!). Since then, I have gone on to finish my BA in International Relations, as well certification and licensing in Canadian Immigration Law & Policy. All of my international experience was complemented by Go Global’s program, and I strongly believe that you will benefit in similar ways.

My goal as an advisor for incoming international research and exchange programs is to co-create a world-class research or learning experience through community-building and personalized support.

As a graduate of UBCO and a past participant in the Go Global program, I have had first-hand experience in the many aspects of going abroad. I received my BA in International Relations from UBCO, with a year of my degree spent studying at the University of Edinburgh. Outside of my exchange, I’ve had the opportunity to travel to over 15 countries, and continue to have a strong passion for travel. I will always look to encourage students to take the opportunity to Go Global where ever possible in their degree. I can also understand the potential doubt and the many decisions that come along with an exchange, whether that be choosing a partner school, course selection, or deciding where to live. I am here to help with all of those choices and guide you to make sure that your exchange experience is the best that it can be.

My advice is that if Go Global has crossed your mind even once, just do it.

aliya

After spending this past academic year at Leiden University in the Netherlands, I can say with utmost confidence that Go Global has been the highlight of my undergraduate experience. From meeting new friends from various countries to studying under brilliant professors, I strongly believe that studying abroad is essential to completing a degree. My biggest piece of advice for those doing a Go Global experience is to not forget to travel lots! Discovering new places whether with a group of friends or by yourself, should be at the top of your list of things to do while abroad. During my exchange, I visited a few different countries but decided to travel to Copenhagen by myself. While solo traveling is scary, my self-confidence grew and I learned more about myself, which is a huge part of studying abroad.

This year I am back at UBCO to complete my history degree and help inspire students to participate in a Go Global program! Whether it be working through the application with you, offering advice on how to prepare to live in a new country, or giving book recommendations, I’m here to help you with whatever you may need.

Counsellors

Being a student is an interesting part of your life – it is exciting, it is difficult and it’s a time where you learn so much about who you are. A lot of my understanding of self developed during this time in my life. I am an immigrant and a child of immigrant parents, I identify as South Asian, Canadian, and Muslim (to name a few of my intersecting identities). There are many ways one understands themselves and the world around them. Navigating your educational life can be stressful, confusing, and absolutely wonderful and I’m here as a support through that journey.

I received my Masters Degree in Counselling Psychology from Simon Fraser University (SFU). I am a Registered Clinical Counsellor and a Canadian Certified Counsellor.

I have worked with UBC-V Counselling Services, UBCO Health and Wellness, and Student Assistance Programs where I’ve supported students experiencing a wide range concerns that include anxiety, depression, suicidality, romantic relationships, familial relationships, identity questions, chronic illness, and academic goals/achievements. I have also spent time as a caseworker working with refugees in the Lower Mainland, emotionally supporting them and working with them to navigate Canadian life.

I work from a Relational Cultural Theory approach which is grounded in Person-Centred values and allows for multicultural work. I enjoy getting to know people through their identity, their relationships, and the broader culture they identify with in ways that are meaningful to the core concerns they want to address in our work together. I identify as a Muslim and for clients desiring faith-based sensitivity in their therapeutic work, I can offer a Muslim perspective.

(Currently on leave)

I completed a Master of Arts degree in Counselling Psychology from City University of Seattle, and completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Law & Psychology from De Montfort University in England.

I have over a decade of experience working as a Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) in a variety of different settings, with people of all ages from all around the world. I appreciate that sometimes in our lives, particularly as a student, we may experience a diverse range of challenges, which can transform our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. This has the ability to create a sense of uncertainty, leading us to believe that life is unchangeable. I provide compassion and establish a positive therapeutic relationship with all students, to help overcome these challenges. My approach to supporting students is based upon creating a safe, trusting, collaborative relationship, regardless of age, culture, or religious background. Students will be supported and provided with strategies to overcome any difficulties that may be interfering with their academic success.

I invite you to come speak with me to learn more about counselling services. I welcome you to UBC and hope you have a successful academic fun-filled experience!

Intercultural Programming

How can we help?

Offering comprehensive support for all UBC Okanagan students, GEO services include:

  • international student advising, safety, and support,
  • student mobility & international research (VIRS)
  • intercultural learning and faculty-led international programming for UBC Okanagan
  • student exchange and research
  • on-campus programming such as intercultural learning, professional development, language exchange, safety abroad, and post-graduation transition programs
  • faculty-led seminars, partnerships, orientation and settlement sessions, and  summer programming abroad

Hours of Service

Monday to Friday 
8:30 am to 4:30 pm (PT)

Contact

University Centre (UNC) 227
geo.ubco@ubc.ca

Follow us on Instagram and LinkedIn

Instagram: @ubcoglobal

LinkedIn: #ubcoglobal