International Program

Program Overview

The International Program is an NYA program eligible to any alumni of the Canadian Program between the ages of 16 and 22. The NYA International Team provides a challenging opportunity for Participants to develop leadership, take part in intensive cultural exchange, and expand their world view as global citizens in a connected world. The program placement involves youth living, learning and sharing in a team setting while placed in a host country, in recent years Costa Rica. Throughout the program, Participants have the chance to explore global issues, share who they are and where they come from abroad, and push themselves to take on new challenges in a new and different environment.

The international travel placement has taken place in various communities throughout southern Africa in the countries of Swaziland and Botswana, Guatemala, and in more recent years in Costa Rica. Under the care of NYA Group Leaders, Participants contribute to a volunteer building related project in their international host community. Volunteer initiatives have included the construction of playgrounds and community gardens, the renovation of an orphanage and a number of other projects that benefited the local communities and provided Participants with the opportunity to learn new skills and broaden their perspective.

The NYA International placement exposes Participants to a number of development-related issues and to help them learn about global citizenship. Exposing northern youth to these types of community-driven projects encourages them to consider how non-governmental, grass-roots led development initiatives serve to protect community interests and promote the well-being of its members. NYA considers this to be an important lesson for our International Participants as they assume the many leadership opportunities that exist for them at the community, territorial, national and international levels.

Areas of Focus

The International Program focuses on:

  • Global Citizenship
  • Leadership
  • Volunteerism
  • Team Work
  • Self-Esteem
  • Self-Confidence
  • Earning High School Credits
  • Governance
  • Community Development
  • Cross-Cultural Learning and Awareness

Participant Benefits

Participants in the International Program receive:

  • Wilderness First-Aid Training
  • Experience in Construction Trades
  • Sessions on Post-Secondary Options
  • 150 Hours of Volunteer Experience
  • Presentation and Public Speaking Practice
  • Experience Assisting Community Development Initiatives
  • Cultural Awareness
  • An understanding of Global Citizenship
  • Up to 9 High School Credits

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