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UW Killam & Corbett Fellows Attend UBC & Ottawa Orientation

Katie and Trevor Hockey

October 31, 2015

Originally posted: October 2015

On September 17, Katie and I flew from Vancouver to Ottawa for the Killam Fall Orientation, a two-day affair where about 30 Killam Fellows met one another and a group of Fulbright Canada Scholars. The first day of events was September 18, opening with breakfast and a tour of the Parliament Building in Ottawa. Although quite different from the Capitol in D.C., the Canadian Parliament actually reminded me of the Washington Capitol in Olympia.

We took a trip up to the Clock Tower, a view that was definitely reminiscent of the view from the Washington Monument, although Ottawa is much greener and more forested than D.C. As a West Coaster, I felt right at home in the forested city. A historical aside, we were told Ottawa’s location was chosen because of the tactical advantage to being located deep in the forest, in case the United States were to invade.

Following the tour, Katie and I wandered across the river with Cassidy, a Killam Fellow from the University of Texas studying at the University of Victoria and spent about 15 minutes in Gatineau, Québec.

The first day wrapped up with a bona fide gala at the Canadian Museum of Nature (the entrance complete with crenellated moose), including with hors d’oeuvre and champagne on trays.

The next day was much less formal, opening with discussion panels populated with “Fulbrighters” and followed by an informal discussion between scholars and Killam Fellows. Part of the group spent the afternoon at the Museum of History in Gatineau (the other half the National Gallery in Ottawa).

Although I had never played hockey before, the weekend wrapped up with my personal favorite, a hockey game at Carleton University. After an hour or so learning how to skate, we played a (very informal) game, in teams of mixed “Fulbrighters” and Killam Fellows.

Thankfully, the Canadian and Americans were also mixed between teams (or we would have lost quite soundly). I can’t say how much I contributed, but I am proud to say my team won, 4-2.

Our flight left in the late afternoon Sunday, so we spent much of our time wandering around Ottawa, including the Bytown Market, another favorite of mine.

In the end, the weekend was most interesting, the professors and students were all very friendly, we met the other two West Coast Fellows (Cassidy and one more studying at UBC), and got a chance to see Canada outside of British Columbia. I’m looking forward to traveling with some of our new friends and to the spring reunion in April in Washington, D.C.

Katelyn has an interest in learning about education in other cultures. She adores British Columbia and fellowship opportunity allowed her to experience another culture. Trevor is a linguistics student and plans to go to graduate school for the cognitive sciences. In the United States, linguistics is very cognitive-based, but in Canada, the perspective is focused on doing more fieldwork, so he is studying in Canada to do fieldwork on Ktunaxa, an indigenous language in the Okanagan, as a new perspective on linguistics.

The Killam and Corbett Fellowships Programs provide an opportunity for exceptional UW undergraduate students to spend either one semester or a full academic year as an exchange student in Canada. Killam provides a cash award of $5,000 U.S. per semester ($10,000 for a full academic year), an all expense paid three day orientation in Ottawa, and a three day all expense paid seminar in Washington. Corbett is a $7,000 award for study at the University of British Columbia. For information on these award, click here.