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Connor Lockhart

Headed to: Botswana

Degree: INDEV major


For me, international development is the perfect mixture or history, business, politics, critical thinking, and the environment mixed up into one highly intricate global framework.

My story of how I became an INDEVOUR is narrowly as complex as International Development itself (slightly kidding). After I graduated high school I took a year off to work for six months, then to travel the remaining six months in Asia. Although I had been an avid traveler before this, the trip further entrenched my love for the world.

While on my trip I had accepted an offer to Arts and Business at uWaterloo to start when I got back. Oddly enough while in Vietnam at a random bar I ran into a girl who just happened to be from Waterloo and on her eight month placement for INDEV. What I didn’t realize at the time was this point marked a turning point in my life and academic career. After my first semester of Arts and Business I switched out and into INDEV and I have only looked back to smile on the choice I made and the happenstance that brought me to the program.

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Sarah Tam

Headed to: Sri Lanka

Degree: INDEV major, Environmental assessment diploma, Business option


“Because it’s interesting” is the short answer to why I initially chose the International Development program at UW.

But there’s a funny thing that happens when you go through a little thing called university: you learn, change, and grow. Why did I choose to pursue an International Development degree? Because I’m passionate about this interdisciplinary program that places the wellbeing of others and the environment above all else; because I’m inspired by the stories of audacity from people who make meaning in the most bleak situations; because I want to take active measures in redefining the world I live in and; because I want to remain inspired by everything that’s around me but be conscious enough to see past the coordinates of the system.

So to my INDEV family, and anyone else who is pursuing their dreams, I wish you this:

To have the strength to endure whatever comes your way on placement and to have the stamina to see it through.

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Rachelle Molto

Headed to: Malawi

Degree: INDEV major


My name is Rachelle, and for my INDEV placement I will be working in Malawi. I have always found that the best way to learn is to do something and be active, and so I’m really looking forwards to the placement part of our studies!

I have really enjoyed my time in the INDEV program. There is such a wide variety of during program, and I’ve learned that many of my interests actually lie within Canadian development. Some of the issues I’m really passionate involve Aboriginal rights and structural violence in Canada and how many of those issues connect to environmental law.

In addition to my interests at university and in my studies, I really enjoy art, music and dance. I have been playing the violin since I was nine. I have been drawing since I was very small, and I find it very enjoyable and relaxing. Over the years, I have done many styles of dance, my favourites being ballet and Irish dance. As well, I work at a few public pools doing lifeguarding and swimming lessons, and I’ve been a vegetarian for four years.

I’m nervous to be going to Malawi in just few months, but I’m also very excited to learn as much as I can while I’m there!

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Jacob Winter

Headed to: Malawi

Degree: INDEV major, Political science minor


Answering “What is International Development?” is a bit like defining math.

I know what math is, but if you ask me to define it, I’ll get tongue tied pretty quick. That’s what it’s like for development. In my fourth year of study, I still can’t get it right.

Despite my inability to explain math, I have no trouble understanding 2×5=10. Doing it makes sense. In the same way, I can wax poetic about poverty and politics, but what drives me is the thought of helping people become the best they can be.

This goes back to March 11, 2011, the day a massive earthquake shook my life. I grew up in Japan, and it was in the aftermath of the earthquake that I first understood how fragile and privileged my existence is. Now, I want to walk alongside the hurting, listen to their stories, and respond however I can.

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Kaitlin Murray

Headed to: Botswana

Degree: INDEV major, Certificate in Private Sponsorship of Refugees & Settlement Planning


International Development is a really bizarre interdisciplinary program that students who typically care about global issues take as they hope to make a difference in the lives of others. This is very similar to my situation as I grew up with a family of active participants in their community. Upon starting the program, we quickly learn about economics, urban planning, geography, statistics, politics, marketing, language and the environment and begin to appreciate how complex this thing called INDEV really is. Then as we continue we begin to take ethics classes and delve very deeply into the difficult situations of individuals and communities all over the world and discuss ways that problem solving should, or should not be, incorporated into each case. Thus, International Development is a very difficult thing to explain because it truly is the study of individual situations in individual contexts. I chose INDEV for very typical reasons, however I am leaving it longing to learn more and to further understand structural management and power dynamics within organizations who define themselves as development practitioners.

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Amy Salmon

Headed to: Malawi

Degree: INDEV major, Geography & environmental management minor, Environmental Assessment Diploma,  Certificate in Private Sponsorship of Refugees & Settlement Planning


I study International Development because I won’t stand idle when I can become a positive force for change in the world.

INDEV has guided and prepared me for pursuing a career in project management after I graduate. My interest lies in socio-economic disaster preparedness, the role of the private sector in development, and public participation in environmental assessment.

Placement is going to give me an opportunity to see what development looks like in the everyday workings of an NGO in Malawi. While there, I hope to learn how to fail graciously, to analyse a project, and plan better next time.

As I prepare for this adventure, I am consciously seeking to open my mind to whatever this year has in store!

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Emma Tamlin

Headed to: Vietnam

Degree: INDEV major, Geography & environmental management minor


Even before I came to Waterloo for International Development I had my sights set on Vietnam for my fourth year placement, and now it is finally becoming a reality. I have no idea where the past few years have gone but I am equal parts scared and excited to take on my role in the field of development. Although it is discouraging at times I know there is no where else I would rather be. Through all the depressing world issues it has become clear to me how passionate I am, as well as my indevour family are about development. Indev and my classmates has made me and continue to make me a better person everyday.  I am so thankful for these amazing people who will continue to do amazing things.

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Larrissa Jerome

Headed to: Vietnam

Degree: INDEV major, Geography & environmental management minor, Environmental Assessment Diploma, Certificate in Private Sponsorship of Refugees & Settlement Planning


International Development was by no means an easy choice for my studies, but it was a necessary choice; the interdisciplinary concept of INDEV has enabled me to see a comprehensive view of world issues. Through INDEV I’ve realized my passion for environmental sustainability and urban food systems.

While on placement in Vietnam this September, I look forward to being uncomfortable. Similar to when I took on the challenge of being vegan, I’ll be challenging myself to understand what’s happening around me from the perspective of others. My focus will be on the small-scale, the local, the bottom-up solutions to large scale problems.

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Sarah Worthen

Headed to: Vietnam

Degree: INDEV major, Environmental assessment diploma


I originally chose International Development for two reasons, I got to go on placement and I got to take business courses. No other program offered 8 months abroad and I saw this as an unbelievable opportunity to not only complete my degree but gain valuable experience in the process. I am heading to Vietnam this September, and I am looking forward to continuing learning Vietnamese and immersing myself in Vietnamese culture.

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Neela Kerr

Headed to: Vietnam

Degree: INDEV major, Geography & environmental management minor, Environmental assessment diploma


I was conflicted when deciding on a program to take in university, I have always had a passion for the environment but was looking for something more. I wanted to find a program that would have a positive impact on people’s lives and change the world for good. I knew the second that I found the INDEV program at Waterloo that I had found exactly what I had been looking for. It had all the components that I wanted; a focus on the environment, people and as an added bonus, real life experience!

In my time at Waterloo I have learned an incredible amount from a variety of disciplines and I am looking forward to my placement in Vietnam to actively implement what I have learned these past couple of years. I am intimidated, nervous and a little scared but mostly I am excited to take on this challenge! I have so much more to learn and cannot wait for whatever comes my way in Vietnam and my future endeavours!

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Kamran Dada

Headed to: Sri Lanka

Degree: INDEV major, Management minor, Sustainable local economic development option


Whenever I tell someone that I am studying International Development, one of the most common question that I get asked is “Why are you studying International Development?”

Having lived most of my life in a developing country I got to observe and experience the lives of people who have been deprived of their basic rights and necessities required to live. Whenever I got the opportunity to help the people living under such unfortunate circumstances I could see what a big difference it brought to their lives, and that gave me an immense feeling of joy and satisfaction.

There is no better feeling then knowing that your actions are making a difference in someone’s life.

The International Development program has equipped me with tools that will allow me to have a greater impact on people’s lives. I am really looking forward to the next 8 months of my time in Sri Lanka, where I will get to learn more and hopefully create a positive change.

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Natacha Rueda

Headed to: Peru

Degree: INDEV major,


I have always had an interest and awareness about development since I was a little kid. Having been born in Colombia and growing up, I got to see both sides of the ‘development coin’. On one side I saw how lucky my family in Colombia was while on the other I saw the poor homeless family across my building suffering. It seemed like only luck and the toss of a coin had landed me on this side while that family was on the other, it was not fair and I wanted to know why. I wanted to do something about it.

While it had always been a side focus while growing up in Canada to volunteer and support good causes, I had never considered it a life goal. Having wanted to study architecture, I simply figured it would continue being a side project in my life. That was until university application time came around, and I came across the INDEV program at Waterloo. They always tell you, universities look at how you rank them in your application and for competitive programs it matters. I don’t know what happened all I know is that I knew that I wanted to put INDEV above Architecture. I wanted it more. When the acceptance letter came for International Development that was it for me.

Now preparing to leave on my placement to Peru, I am excited to continue delving into the ever-intricate field of development. Four years later and I don’t regret a thing.