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Learning About and Living Canada and the U.S.’s Allyship

By Caitlin Salvino, 2016-2017 Killam Fellow from Carleton University to American University

unnamed-1Canada is America’s greatest ally and trading partner.  This is something I have had the honour to witness and participate in through my experience as a Killam Fellow and interning at the Canadian Embassy.  Being named Carleton’s Killam Fellow for 2016-2017 provided me with a once in a lifetime opportunity to gain cross-cultural experience studying at American University in Washington D.C.  In the past two and a half months on my exchange I have been able to grow as an individual, academic and professional through my involvement on campus and in the D.C. community.

This is a city and university I had never visited; it was an environment that was completely foreign to me both politically and socially. Despite these obstacles, upon learning I would be given this incredible opportunity I knew I had to make the most of it.
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Prior to moving to D.C. I had experience working in both the Canadian House of Commons and the Senate and knew that I wanted to continue to support and gain a practical understanding of the inner workings of our Canadian foreign policy in the U.S.  Through my experience in Canada’s capital, I was able to arrange an internship with the Canadian Embassy. For the past three months I have been interning with the Embassy Events Production Team- assisting them plan and run events on Global Mental Health, International Women’s Day and Remembrance Day.  I have been able to meet the Canadian Ambassador David MacNaughton, the Minister of International Trade Chrystia Freeland and various diplomats.   My current project is being involved in the planning of the Canadian Embassy Inauguration Event that will take place in January.  I am incredibly excited to be returning to Washington after my Killam grant period has ended to assist at this Inauguration Event in January.
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This internship experience has enabled me to embody the values and goals of the Killam Fellowship while living in D.C. It seeks to promote cross-cultural learning and sharing to enable fellows to form a better understanding of their host country and the strong relationship that currently exists between the Canada and the U.S. There is no better place to learn about and support the maintenance of the strong relationship between Canada and the U.S. than the Canadian Embassy in Washington D.C. My internship has enabled me to see firsthand the work that has been done and continues to be done to maintain this relationship.  It has enabled me to play a role in supporting this relationship and for this I am incredibly grateful to both the Killam Fellowship and the Canadian Embassy for this opportunity and experience.

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