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CanStudyUS 2024

Virtual Fellowship

The CanStudyUS Fellowship was designed by the Dais at Toronto Metropolitan University for young people with an active interest in policy and current affairs to learn from experts and leaders in the United States and Canada. In the lead up to the US elections, this year’s Virtual Fellowship will be offered over eight weeks in May and June and will include a series of exclusive panel discussions on some of the most pressing public policy issues facing both countries.

8 weeks from May 2nd to June 20th

Live virtual sessions

Learn from experts and leaders from the US and Canada

Every Thursday from 1-3 pm

8 weekly sessions with an optional introductory lecture on U.S. Democracy
No prerequisites required

About the Fellowship

Canada’s relationship with the U.S. is crucial, with the two countries sharing the world’s longest international border and the world’s second largest trading relationship. As global dynamics evolve, strengthening and understanding the complexities of the Canada-US relationship becomes increasingly vital.

The US elections of November 2024 will help determine the fate of American democracy and of the Canada-US relationship. Join us in May and June 2024 as we learn about America’s democracy and economy, and how it impacts one of its closest allies, Canada.

The CanStudyUS virtual fellowship, running over two months (May and June), provides a rare opportunity  for young people with an active interest in policy and current affairs to learn from experts and leaders in the United States and Canada. Fellows will convene online weekly to hear from Canadian and US experts via interactive panel discussions. Participants will have the opportunity to pose their questions to the speakers, before joining small group discussions with their peers for deeper reflection. Fellows who complete the program will receive a LinkedIn badge and a certificate.

To take part in the virtual fellowship, interested candidates are required to apply using the online application form to express their interest in the program. Approximately 75 participants will be chosen from across Canada to experience this unique and rewarding learning experience.

What You’ll Gain

A deeper understanding of bilateral relations
Each session will feature a summary of the Canada-US relationship, followed by insights from experts and leaders from both countries, offering diverse perspectives on key policy issues. Fellows will be able to pose questions to the speakers to increase their understanding of the nuances of each topic.

Insights into current and future trends
Explore emerging trends and challenges shaping the political, economic, and social landscapes of Canada and the United States. Engage with thought leaders and industry experts to gain valuable perspectives on future developments in areas such as technology, sustainability, and governance. 

A national network of ambitious peers
Connect with a diverse group of like-minded peers from across Canada who share a passion for public policy and social change. Exchange ideas and share experiences with fellow participants each week in small-group breakout rooms. Build lasting relationships and expand your professional network through a private LinkedIn group. Once you become a Fellow, you’ll join the wider CanStudyUS alumni community and have access to exclusive events, networking opportunities, and discounts on the Dais’ professional development offerings.

An opportunity to be part of the next study experience in the US
Reserved for current CanStudyUS Virtual Fellows or recent alumni, the Home and Away CanStudyUS Fellowship by the Dais offers an exclusive chance to explore Canada-US public policy in depth. Immerse yourself in a multi-day experience in Washington D.C. or selected states deeply connected to bilateral relations, where you’ll engage face-to-face with prominent leaders, experts, and academics. Eligibility is limited to participants and recent alumni of the virtual program. Invitations to apply will be distributed once details for the next Home and Away Fellowship are confirmed, anticipated in late 2024.

All Fellows who attend at least six of the eight live sessions will receive a certificate and a LinkedIn badge to acknowledge the skills they have gained through the program.


  • Students and young professionals based in Canada between the ages of 20-35 at the time of application
  • Applicants should demonstrate a strong interest in current affairs, public policy, international relations, or related fields
  • Applicants should be available to commit to the full duration of the program, which runs over two months (May and June)

Applications are judged based on the following criteria

  • Demonstrated interest in leadership and public policy and clear articulation of how the program will help further their career or educational goals
  • Demonstrated interest in building their own leadership skills with strong sense of where and how they would apply their newfound knowledge
  • Diversity of political thought and geographic region
  • Diversity in terms of Indigenous identity, race, gender identity, (dis)ability, and sexual orientation

Fellowship Outline

US Democracy 101 (optional)
Join us for an introductory session led by Elise Blasingame, a political scientist and community advocate from Atlanta, Georgia. This session is tailored for those new to the complexities of US democracy, providing essential insights into America’s founding principles, the structure of its government branches, the dynamics of the Dual-Party System, and the practical mechanics of elections and voting. It’s a perfect opportunity to brush up on foundational knowledge before delving deeper into how US politics shapes the Canada-US relationship throughout the Fellowship.

Week 1 – Election Dynamics and Voter Concerns
We’ll kick off the fellowship by diving into the upcoming elections in Canada and the United States, exploring voter concerns, electoral trends, and strategies for increasing voter engagement. Experts will analyze key issues shaping the political landscape and discuss initiatives to mobilize communities.

Week 2 – The Impact of the Media and Emerging Political Narratives  
Media ecosystems in the US continue to fragment. We’ll look at what stories will dominate as both countries prepare for elections.  In this session hear from seasoned journalists, new media innovators, and leading academics who have looked at the media’s impact on both sides of the border. 

Week 3 – From Parliament Hill to Capitol Hill: Rebuilding Trust in Institutions
Examine the erosion of trust in institutions and explore strategies for rebuilding public confidence and accountability. Speakers will discuss the role of government, media, and civil society in restoring trust, fostering transparency, and promoting democratic resilience.

Week 4 – The Future of Higher Education
This panel will explore innovative policy approaches to optimize the higher education system for excellence and efficiency in Canada and the US. Speakers will discuss perspectives on reducing bureaucratic hurdles, promoting fiscal responsibility, and incentivizing academic rigor and innovation. The discussions will focus on policy reforms aimed at enhancing educational outcomes, fostering competition, and empowering students with valuable skills for the workforce.

Week 5 – Navigating the AI Regulatory Landscape
Delve into the complexities of regulating artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to ensure ethical use and protect individual rights. This panel will examine current regulatory frameworks, emerging challenges, and opportunities for international cooperation.

Week 6 –  Indigenous Policy and Reconciliation
In this session, our panel will delve into the critical topics of reconciliation, Indigenous governance, and policy. Our esteemed speakers will offer valuable insights into the multifaceted landscape of Indigenous affairs, addressing both the challenges and successes experienced by Indigenous communities as well as ongoing initiatives that are addressing the diverse needs of Indigenous peoples.

Week 7 – Net Zero Solutions for All
This climate crisis-focused panel will explore strategies and policies aimed at achieving net-zero emissions, while ensuring affordability and accessibility for all citizens. Speakers will discuss innovative approaches to renewable energy, equitable carbon pricing, and community-based initiatives.

Week 8 – The Role of Youth in Policy Reform
This panel will highlight the role of youth as policy influencers and agents of change in Canada and the United States. Speakers will discuss youth-led initiatives, advocacy strategies, and the importance of engaging young voices in shaping policies that affect their future.

Guest Speakers

Frances AbeleDistinguished Research Professor, Carleton University

Abram BenedictGrand Chief Mohawk Council of Akwesasne

Elise Blasingame (Osage/𐓏𐒰𐓓𐒰𐓓𐒷Doctoral candidate, University of Georgia

Sabreena DelhonCEO, Samara Centre for Democracy

Blair Attard-FrostPhD Candidate & Lecturer, University of Toronto

Dr Rob GoodmanPolitical Theorist, Toronto Metropolitan University

Jake Hirsch-AllenNorth America Workforce Development and Higher Ed System Lead, LinkedIn

Miriam JorgensenSenior Researcher, Native Nations Institute, The University of Arizona

Derek MoscatoProfessor, Department of Journalism, Western Washington University


  • Live virtual sessions on Zoom
  • Real-time, online learning
  • Exclusive access to leading guest speakers and experts
  • Applied, collaborative and inclusive learning environment 
  • Earn a certificate and LinkedIn badge on completion of the fellowship


For successful applicants who are offered a place on the fellowship, the cost for the 8-week program is $250 + tax. Payment will be due within 4 working days of being accepted into the program.

10 bursaries will be available for applicants who are not able to afford the fellowship fee

Meet the Fellowship Team

Karim Bardeesy

Camara Chambers

Khushi Shah

Get in touch

Questions or want to learn more about the program?

Contact email address:


“The speakers were all excellent and very engaging. I appreciated their unique professional and personal experiences which were a fascinating insight into the US and Canadian political context and its different dimensions. I also just really appreciated how candid they were, and that we likely would not have had a chance to connect with them if the program wasn’t delivered virtually.”

“A phenomenal opportunity to learn, grow and engage with others.”

“I really enjoyed hearing first-hand insights and experience from leaders working in various sectors. Also, getting to connect with the other fellows has been incredible and I look forward to continuing to build these relationships outside of the fellowship!”