• Mentorship & Leader Training

Intercordia Canada is an organization that facilitates international experiences for young, Canadian university students through the lens of being with rather than doing for. The primary intent of the Intercordia experience is not to change the world but to change our understanding of the world. Living and working across cultures and becoming involved in people’s lives requires us to be attentive, respectful and curious. We have developed a unique mentorship program that supports participants in critical thinking and engaging them in deep and radical learning.

A mentor is someone who lives alongside Intercordia participants providing support throughout the international experience. This is done through facilitating the reflection process, engaging in group and one-on-one check-ins, and offering practical information and support.

Mentors will facilitate the reflection process with Intercordia participants as a group and are there to support students through personal growth, challenges and reflections.




Apply to be a mentor!




Intercordia mentors engage in the following responsibilities:

  • offer support and guidance throughout the Intercordia experience
  • facilitating group reflection
  • connect regularly with students individually
  • mediate group dynamics and/or conflicts that may arise
  • responding to crisis if and when it occurs
  • call students to their commitment to the program
  • encourage responsible, healthy and safe living practices
  • work with placement partners (and hosts) as necessary




Hannah: our Mentor Coordinator & Mentor in Rwanda

Through Intercordia I have been invited to learn about myself by living, working and being with others. For me, this is the beauty of Intercordia. Intercordia provides opportunities for young people to become more thoughtful and critically aware of themselves, others and the world through the building of meaningful connections with marginalized people. It is in these relationships that we are challenged to recognize our own limits and the gift of simply being with people in places of struggle and suffering as well as joy and community.

Being welcomed to Intercordia as the new Mentor Coordinator has been such an incredible privilege and joy. I have been involved in Intercordia since 2010 when I was a participant in Ghana. That initial experience turned my world upside down and has continued to shape my life’s path ever since. After returning to Canada, I continued to feel a pull both to return to Ghana and remain connected to Intercordia. In 2012, I returned to Ghana as a Mentor and then again said “yes” to mentorship in 2013 and 2014. Finally, I traveled to Ghana in 2015, not with Intercordia but as a researcher for my master’s thesis.

Through these experiences, I built long-lasting relationships not only with those who I lived and worked with but also with Intercordia as an organization and the folks on the ground in Canada who were supporting me as I supported others. The mentorship program has shaped me as much as (if not more than) my experience as a participant. I learned, with invaluable support from Katie and Joe, how to guide and support others through their journeys of personal growth, critical reflection, and building relationships with people so different from themselves. Through this process, I have learned deeply what it means to be confronted with one’s privilege and, with support or mentorship, the long-lasting effect this kind of learning can have for how someone chooses to live in the world.

The presence of mentors is such a special and valuable part of the Intercordia experience. It is often what enables experience to turn into learning and struggle to shift into growth. And I am so grateful for the opportunity to help shape and develop it using all that I have learned through my experiences as a participant, mentor, and campus representative.


Tara: Ecuador

I am new to the Intercordia team and I am thrilled to embark on this partnership.  I graduated from the U of S with a Bachelor of International Studies in 2013 and am very fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel and work abroad.   More recently, I was working in the Dominican Republic and Mexico with the Canadian NGO Live Different.  Creating relationships with the people in these areas gave me an education that the classroom never could and I am forever grateful for the hospitality, patience and friendship I received.  I am excited to step into the unfamiliar with this years’ Intercordians in Ecuador and to witness the growth that can come from embracing new ideas and differences.  With any luck we’ll be able to do a little salsa dancing and a hike or two while we’re at it!  

I am originally from Maple Creek, SK, and now live in Saskatooon where I've been busy working at the Open Door Society by day and a local pub by night.  I enjoy playing volleyball, doing yoga and being an aunty!



Mary: The Dominican Republic

Mary is a fourth year music therapy student in Vancouver, BC. Last year she was an Intercordian in the Dominican Republic and is overjoyed to be going back as a mentor this year!  When not studying (or practicing), Mary enjoys impromptu soccer games, listening to people's stories, and dancing anytime, anywhere.   As a mentor, Mary is most looking forward to building and supporting relationships between the students and the Dominicans, spending time with the inspiring people of the Federación, and practicing bachata!

Support Line
Intercordia is committed to the support and learning of participants while in placement. We have a support line for participants and their families and friends back home, which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Participants can call to work through challenges, debrief a hard moment or day, or ask for advice in a specific situation. Participants and their families can also call in case of emergency in placement or at home in Canada. 
Katie MacDonald, co-director, is trained in crisis line management and holds the support line and manages the Facebook support page for online access.