JIBC graduates get a global perspective in policing

James Copping in Ireland (2013)James, a recent JIBC graduate, had the opportunity to complete part of his studies as an exchange student in Ireland (Submitted photo)


For James and Diana, completing the Law Enforcement Studies Diploma (LESD) didn’t just give them an advantage in a career in law enforcement. It broadened their perspective of the world and policing.

The two students had the opportunity to spend their last semester in 2013 in Ireland at the Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT). They were the second set of participants in the international exchange program.

JIBC partnered with WIT because of its prominent Criminal Justice Studies program and its robust exchange program, according to LESD Program Coordinator Steve McCartney. A leading post-secondary institution in south-east Ireland, WIT offers a wide range of programs including a BA in Criminal Justice Studies.

McCartney said there are invaluable benefits that come from an international education exchange opportunity. “The experience helps young people expand their horizons and gain independence,” he said. “They come home with a greater level of confidence that enhances their academic learning and helps them in their career planning.”

A time of self-discovery, friendships and independence

For Diana, the opportunity to spend a semester in Europe was “like no other.”

“I could write for days about the different things I have learned from this adventure, such as self-discoveries, building friendships, and expanding my independence, just to name a few. This opportunity allowed me to finish the LESD program with a ‘bang’ and I cannot express enough gratitude for the people who have made this possible.”

For James, the experience in Ireland broadened his knowledge of the world and gave him an appreciation of the various types of policing that’s applied in different communities.

“It wasn’t just the classes that gave me knowledge about policing. We met with a constable over there, Mary, and she gave us a tour of the station. And I was getting the insights about policing from friends I met. I learned a lot about what it was like over there.”

The trip also helped him discover his interest in becoming a probation officer after taking a probation course at WIT.

“I like the rehabilitation aspect of it. Knowing how important rehabilitation is, and knowing that I’m more of a person that likes that aspect was beneficial for me in choosing a direction in my law enforcement career.”

Kevin Sanford, Program Director, Office of International Affairs, said participation in these kinds of international exchanges helps increase a student’s employability and their ability to integrate successfully into the justice or public safety sector they choose to contribute to.

“We’re building partnerships with educational institutions so more of our students can gain this type of international exposure, whether it’s for a few weeks or an entire semester,” he said.

For both James and Diana, the program was an invaluable opportunity to grow.

“For the lucky students to be selected in the future for this opportunity, I would advise them to prepare to discover and build yourself, whether it’s building confidence to travel along through the semester, learning to budget, or discovering your social skills,” said Diana. “You discover things about yourself when you travel alone, right from boarding the plane.”

Story by Richard Chu

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