LA&PS launches ‘E-xplore the World’ global learning series

A street in Japan

A laptop showing a Zoom cooking class

Come E-xplore the World with the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (LA&PS). With international travel still off the table due to COVID-19, the LA&PS International team has pivoted and introduced a new way to bring international experiences to students. The new E-xplore the World with LA&PS global learning program is a great way to see the world from the comfort and safety of your own home.

In this series, students can virtually explore 12 different countries and cultures through a sequence of interactive activities via eClass. Currently, over 230 students from several faculties are participating and enrollment is open for all students. They can engage independently through virtual tours of historical sites and attractions, movies and book clubs, theatre performances, and games, as well as participate in live activities like cooking classes, trivia nights, movie watch parties, and language exchanges via Zoom. Student participation in the series is also acknowledged on their co-curricular record as a virtual travel experience.

Italian cooking ingredients with a bowl of salad and a bowl of pasta
In January, participants cooked a spicy pasta dish together via Zoom during an Italian cooking class

To kick off the series, Italy was the first country to be featured throughout January. Students explored the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Amalfi Coast, and other Italian destinations, competed in a live trivia night, and cooked a spicy pasta dish together via Zoom. The Italian cooking class, hosted in collaboration with Alicia Koebel from Athletics and Recreation, was an undisputable hit and left students excited for future classes.

First-year environmental studies student Jui Joglekar said, “I thoroughly enjoyed Trivia night and cooking class. The best part is the video is still available, in case I’d like to revisit it.” Jodie Chinnery, a second-year Human Rights and Equity, Indigenous Studies and Refugee Studies student, was happy she participated in the program, saying, “I’m so glad I joined. My favourite thing about it was the comprehensive list of books, movie, virtual tours, plays, and music.”

By participating in these activities, students are not just learning about new places and cultures but also connecting with other members of the LA&PS and York communities. At a time when our students are physically disconnected, E-xplore the World with LA&PS is a way to maintain existing connections, forge new ones, and sustain a sense of community.

Bowl of udon noodle soup
February’s activities explored the country of Japan and featured a virtual cooking class that taught participants how to make udon noodle soup

LA&PS student Michelle Cobblah said about her participation in the first month of the series, “I can’t emphasize how relevant this series is. The variety of learning techniques is simply incredible. It’s almost like learning without effort. It also solves the problem of ‘where do I start to learn from?’ I absolutely loved my trip to Italy in January and can’t wait to explore more with new friends.”

Katie Gribbons, LA&PS study abroad coordinator, was instrumental in bringing this concept into reality,” commented Saba Rafiq, manager, International Student Success and Engagement. “By participating in the activities, students are not just learning about new places and cultures but also connecting with other members of the LA&PS and York communities, which is supporting internationalization efforts at home.”

For more information about the series, email Katie Gribbons at