Where would you expect to find over 50 mid-career international professionals from over 20 countries and living and learning in Nova Scotia for five months? You might be surprised that every year this is the case in the small town of Antigonish – the Highland Heart of Nova Scotia. The Coady International Institute, based on the campus of Saint Francis Xavier University, has passed the 50 year anniversary in 2009 and has now over 5,500 graduates in over 130 countries from its leadership development programs.
Recently I facilitated a course at Coady for participants to build the Coady participants communications skills in learning to plan, shoot and edit a video with a social message. Each group planned, shot and edited their films working in project groups and they presented to all the diploma participants and guests.
The learning methodologies at Coady are interactive and build on the experiences and participation of the group. Each learning experience is unique since the background and wealth of knowledge is amazing and the cross fertilization of ideas is sparked by the participants engaging on a variety of development topics.
Coady International Institute is based on the principles of the Antigonish Movement was started in the 1920s by Father Moses Coady and Father Jimmy Tompkins to help small, resource-based communities in Nova Scotia improve their economic and social circumstances through credit unions, cooperatives and community development.
The institute is now housed in beautifully renovated historic buildings in the heart of the St FX Campus are a delight to work in with space for group work, multimedia tools, a state of the art library, wired classrooms and built to order for the participatory learning environment. In addition to its core Diploma in Development Leadership and many certificate level courses, Coady Institute now has instituted the International Centre for Women’s Leadership, supporting women leadership across Canada and around the globe.
You might wonder how people from India, Africa, the Middle East, the Caribbean all get along in this this small Nova Scotia town. Comments from the participants at their recent closing banquet included “people are so friendly”, “we were welcomed with great honour and respect”, “people on the street greet us”, “it is such a beautiful place” – they are taking back fond memories of their time in Antigonish and many had the opportunity to visit other parts of Nova Scotia including Margaree – the birthplace of Monsignor Coady, Halifax where they visited the provincial legislature, an experience of the first snowfall and playing like kids, the glory of autumn leaves – many happy memories of their personal journey here in beautiful Nova Scotia.
Video of international participants 2011 farewell
The next time you are in Antigonish stop and visit the Coady International Institute. The library and public spaces have interesting history, photos and multimedia presentations to give you more insight into this wonderful international local resource.
For More Information
- Coady International Institute
- Coady on Facebook
- Experience Antigonish
- Saint Francis Xavier University
- Town of Antigonish – Coady page
- Antigonish Movement – Wikipedia