ISOW student leaders engage in experiential learning by managing levy funds, supporting our Scholars and organizing events. Also, experiential courses are offered to our student leaders and Scholars where they earn academic credit for their work with ISOW. For example, in the 2017-2018 school year, two student leaders and a Scholar took a Directed Studies course where they studied the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. These students used their knowledge of the conflict to organize a symposium on the human realities of conflict in March 2018. (To learn more about the symposium, visit the “Events” tab.) ISOW is committed to providing experiential learning opportunities to Laurier students, both inside and outside of the classroom.


ISOW’s mission is to promote active student engagement through the study of the human realities of international conflict today and to provide scholarships to international students affected by conflict. Our vision is to foster genuine intercultural learning and effective global citizenship by bringing together minds from around the world. One way that ISOW realizes its mission and vision is by offering academic courses to ISOW student leaders and Scholars where students have the opportunity to study particular global conflicts and their humanitarian responses. The courses are taught by ISOW’s Faculty Advisor, Dr. Gavin Brockett.

ISOW courses combine ‘traditional’ academic learning with ‘experiential learning’ by providing students with ways to take their learning beyond the classroom. According to the Council of Ontario Universities, experiential learning “is when students learn by doing using their theoretical knowledge in practical, real-life, or work-related situations.” In the 2017-2018 school year, for example, two ISOW student leaders and a Scholar participated in a reading course that focused on the realities of life for Palestinian and Syrian refugees in the Middle East today. The students read books and articles on these conflicts and then used their knowledge to plan a symposium on the human realities of conflict (click the Events tab to learn more!). The students made presentations to grant committees, designed publicity materials and created workshops for students to participate in. This ISOW course gave the students the opportunity to learn inside the classroom and apply their knowledge to a real-world project.

In addition to regular courses for ISOW student leaders and Scholars, the ISOW President enrolls in a Directed Studies course each year in which they focus their studies on achieving ISOW goals for the year ahead while engaging in the critical study of conflict and humanitarianism.

ISOW is working toward developing new courses in the next year, which may include a course on transnational humanitarianism and a field course. If you are an ISOW leader and are interested in enrolling in an ISOW course, please contact Dr. Brockett for more information.

COURSES IN 2019-2020

Fall 2019

ISOW will be offering courses for the 2019/2020 school year to continue to engage students in learning on the human realities of conflict. These courses are a reflection of our committment to experiential learning.

Winter 2020

ISOW will be offering courses for the 2019/2020 school year to continue to engage students in learning on the human realities of conflict. These courses are a reflection of our committment to experiential learning. 


This Directed Studies course provided students with the opportunity to read widely on the variety of responses leading thinkers and activists have adopted with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Students also worked on a community engagement project, which involved designing a mechanism for financing ISOW and organizing a public symposium on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

This course focused on the history of western humanitarian efforts and the contemporary critique of organizations that aim to make the world a better place. Students developed their understanding of the complexity of navigating partnerships between NGOs and Universities.

This course provided students with the opportunity to study the history of western humanitarian, as well as religion and academia in the context of contemporary global studies and Muslim studies. Students also worked on a formal Agreement between Laurier and Jusoor to sponsor Scholars through ISOW.

This Directed Studies course focused on the academic approaches to and definitions of “war” so as to situate the history of western humanitarian efforts. Its outcome was the formal delineation of ISOW as a humanitarian educational endeavor and a presentation to the University Administration about obtaining additional scholarships for Jusoor students.

This course focused on the ethics and history of humanitarian intervention, war and trauma, and navigating intercultural relationships. In addition, each student completed 10 hours of job shadowing members of Laurier’s administration and developed their own “ISOW Legacy Project”, which included a trip to Ottawa and an ISOW financial report.

This reading course gave students the opportunity to study various themes related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Syrian conflict. Students also organized an ISOW symposium on the human realities of conflict, which meant identifying participants and speakers, writing grant proposals to obtain funds, and deciding upon the symposium objectives and format.

This course offered ISOW leaders the opportunity to help set the agenda for ISOW in the coming years. We explored conflicts beyond Syria and identified organizations with which we might sponsor Scholars in the future. Students developed profiles of individual conflicts and the humanitarian NGOs responding to the needs of people affected by them; and they worked towards developing strong, coherent presentations that effectively make a case for supporting students from these countries through partnerships with ISOW.

This course provided ISOW Directors with the opportunity to gain critical professional experience through job-shadowing members of the Laurier Administration. Students developed projects specific to their ISOW portfolios. They studied questions related to ethical engagement with our Scholars; the impact of trauma; intercultural communication; and the meaning of global citizenship.


In Spring 2019, ISOW introduced a two certificates in Educational Leadership and Applied Humanitarianism. These certificates recognize the experiential learning that our student leaders and Scholars participate in: planning campus events, managing ISOW’s scholarship and club budgets, and providing leadership during Management Team meetings. These certificates are a reflection of Laurier’s commitment to providing experiential learning opportunities to all students. 


In Spring 2018 Wilfrid Laurier University agreed to provide funding for an internship program over the next two years. The ISOW-WUSC internship provides two graduates with the opportunity to continue their professional development while assuming responsibility for supporting both the ISOW and WUSC programs at Laurier. They work closely with the ISOW Faculty Advisor and with Laurier International in this capacity.


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