Haroon Chaudhry is the Associate Vice-President International at the University of Regina, and a graduate of a JSGS Master's Certificate program. (Photo: Submitted)
Haroon Chaudhry is the Associate Vice-President International at the University of Regina, and a graduate of a JSGS Master's program. (Photo: Submitted)

Building a global community in a new country

Moving to a new country to pursue further education poses many challenges, whether that’s academically, adjusting to different norms or just being away from home. Haroon Chaudhry has first-hand experience when it comes to moving away to pursue your education and career.

By Scott Larson for JSGS

“I’ve always been aware of what it takes to fully transition to a new country and education system, so a lot of my work is built around making sure that our international students are welcomed and feel like they belong here,” says Chaudhry, who was permanently named Associate Vice-President (International) and Chief International Officer at the University of Regina in January. “When our students are connected with their communities both on and off campus, they know that they are supported, heard, and understood and from there, they can be active participants in social events and engage as global citizens.”

Chaudhry was born in Pakistan before moving to New York City where he completed his Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration from John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York.

From there, Chaudhry came to the University of Regina to complete his Master of Public Administration from the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy (JSGS).

“I was planning to move to Canada to further my education,” he says. “While I was reviewing programs offered by different institutions, I came across the program at JSGS, and was highly interested in the programs offered, and also the internship opportunity that this program included.

“JSGS had already attained a strong reputation for quality programming. Between the skills I would develop and networks I would build, the MPA program clearly became the best choice for me in terms of my personal and professional growth.” 

Chaudhry has now been part of the fabric of the University of Regina 15 years, spanning graduate studies and roles as Director, Global Education Services, and acting Associate Vice- President (International).

He says the JSGS program helped develop the skills and abilities needed to further his career – leadership skills, policy making and implementation, decision making, negotiation, management, program development, as well as building a network and establishing meaningful partnerships. 

“Every skill that I learned during my master’s degree has been utilized throughout my career,” Chaudhry says. “From the time when I first started at UR International until now, I’ve been involved in policy making, program development and implementation and overseeing entire units. These all involve being a strong leader, understanding management and unit dynamics, and building relationships and partnerships across campus and international stakeholders.” 

That knowledge and expertise helps Chaudhry create a great experience for international students at the University of Regina.

“What makes me so passionate about seeing international students having positive experiences is it means that we are successfully building the foundation to increase cross-cultural relationships among students, while maintaining a harmonized and welcoming atmosphere where students feel supported in their academic pursuits,” he says.

“Every now and then, we have former students come back to campus years after they completed their programs and they mention how supported they felt and how proud they are to have learned the skills and abilities needed to further their career and educational goals. These students are now thriving members of our global community. Their success is our success and a true testament to the programs we offer here at the University of Regina.” 

Chaudhry says the JSGS Master’s programs can be a stepping stone to further your career in a university setting and further afield.

“Through a deepening of knowledge, understanding, and skill sets, individuals from across all fields have the opportunity to grow professionally; it really opens doors to all areas of the employment sector,” he says. “As someone who has first-hand experience with going through a master’s degree, it really sets the foundation for anyone to grow professionally and personally.”