Kirstin Stewart
Teacher, NGO Volunteer, International Studies Graduate

B.A., International Studies (2011-2015)

Exchange Semester, University of Dundee (2014)

Volunteer in Uganda, Sawa World (2016)

TEFL Certificate (2017)

TEFL Teacher in Vietnam (2017-2018)

Coming from a small town, Kirstin grew up wanting to change the world, but was unsure of how she would accomplish it. During her work experience in Uganda, Kirstin realized that change comes from empowerment within a community. During her teaching experience in Vietnam she also realized that bringing in external 'experts' does not guarantee quality/thoroughness. As she matured, she realized how complicated her dream was, but she began to understand that the biggest changes come from the inclusion of everyone in the process. After completing her final university courses, Kirstin went to live in Kampala, Uganda to complete an NGO internship. The NGO, Sawa World, focused on spreading local solutions for poverty. Their idea was to disseminate small, culturally relevant businesses to the impoverished in their communities, thereby empowering Ugandans (especially the youths) to begin making an income and, in turn, passing on this empowerment to their peers. After a brief period at home, Kirstin followed her love for traveling and working with youths to Vietnam where she taught English as a second language for a year. Here she saw the varying quality of ex-pat teachers, and began to question what it means to be an "expert". Although the world has a way to go, Kirstin remains ever optimistic that better, more equal times are coming.
Kirstin is the kind of person who can develop an interested in anything. Traveling and working with children has been a central passion in her life, but her hobbies are diverse. Growing up she played every sport in school, swam, did gymnastics, occasionally took musical theatre lessons and played the piano after school. At one point Kirstin was ranked #2 in Canada for women's Javelin in track and field. Conversely Kirstin also loves video games and trash TV. She has been known to obsess over true crime documentaries and historical movies. She also loves to run and listen to music - usually 90s grunge.
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