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Telling the world story

September 7, 2012

Telling the world story
Thanks to a fellowship, Ali Millington learned valuable lessons while studying for six months in the Netherlands.

In 2012, Ali Millington stood in front of the Greek parliament buildings, as hundreds of citizens rallied during the country’s financial crisis.

“Being there, in the midst of the protest, made me even more passionate about telling stories of people from around the world,” says the budding journalist and student at Western’s Media, Information and Technoculture (MIT) program.

“One of the most important aspects of a good journalist, or anyone involved in media, is neutrality – and this comes from having an open-minded view of the world,” she adds.

Ali experienced a broader view of the world, thanks to a six-month study term at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Her overseas studies were partially funded by the William C. Heine International Study Fellowship, endowed at Foundation Western. Established by a bequest from Mr. William Heine (BA’49), the fellowship is awarded to an MIT undergraduate who wants to study outside of Canada.

While defraying some of the costs of living abroad, the scholarship also provided many learning opportunities for Ali, which would have been out of the question if not for the scholarship funding. “Through my studies, I’ve been learning to think critically,” she says. “While it’s important to be critical to an extent, it’s also important to be openminded, which is one quality I’ve gained while being on the exchange.”

During her time in Europe, Ali also found time to travel to Germany, Denmark and Scotland. “I was fortunate enough to meet people from all over the world who were keen to share stories with me about their lives and cultures,” says Ali.

Her European studies offered a great training ground to continue as a volunteer news journalist for Western’s radio station, where she’ll be interviewing people and presenting stories on air. Ali also plans to “talk up” her international studies, by volunteering with the international office to promote overseas study opportunities for Western students.

As she heads into her final year of the MIT program, Ali is gearing up for a changing future. “Our world is increasingly revolving around media, especially social media,” she says. “I feel that what I’ve gained from my time at Western and overseas has given me what I need to focus on international journalism.”

This article appeared in the 2012 edition of Student Awards Recipient Report
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