International Study Tours

Experience Vibrant Co-operative Economies in Emilia-Romagna, Italy and Mondragón, Spain

Imagine exploring Spain or Italy, and seeing first-hand the benefits of a successful co-op economy. Our international study tours are an essential component of the Master’s program and the chance for students to gain valuable experience focused on models of co-operative excellence. The study tour is the in-person component of a 6-week, online course that includes readings, discussions, lectures, papers, and a journal project. Non-student spots are available. 

Upcoming Tours 

  • International Co-operative Study Tour to Emilia-Romagna, Italy, June 3 -12, 2023. Non-student spots are available. Email jude.robertson@smu.ca to signal your interest.

Sample Itinerary

View a Mondragón Sample Itinerary & Emilia-Romagna Sample Itinerary.

Click here to see a video produced by our Master's student, Anne Caraan, capturing their experience of the study tour to Mondragón in 2019. 

Cost

The Saint Mary’s co-operative tours are run on a cost-recovery basis. The Study Tour fee covers the following costs: 9 nights of accommodation (including breakfast), administrative/coordinating/co-op tour fees within the host country, approximately ½ of the lunches and 2 evening meals, translation, other room/facility booking fees, bus and other ground transportation required on the schedule, and the Saint Mary’s instructor and back-up instructor travel and in-country expenses.

Students and industry participants are responsible for organizing and paying for their airfare and ground transportation to and from the tour’s starting location, some meals, and other personal and incidental expenses that may arise during the trip.

Study tour fee for non-students: $4,750 CDN

 “A Life-Changing Event:” Study Tour Testimonials

"The Mondragon Study Tour was highly immersive and took the cooperative experience out of the imagination and placed it at your fingertips, under your feet and into your heart (through your belly of course).  Aside from getting first-hand exposure to individuals across the worker co-operative eco-system, you are also invited to think critically about the application of those very same elements that have made Mondragon successful, to your own circumstances.  It was an experience that, despite having offered many answers, had opened the door to many new possibilities and ways to imagine the future of the co-operative networks.” -Anne Caraan, Master's Graduate; Vancity, Canada

"On our study visit to Italy, we witnessed how a co-operative economy can play a key role in a whole region. You can understand why the Master’s program was created and why it is so important." -Norma Babineau, Master's Graduate, Canada

"When we went to Spain, it was a life-changing event. I remember thinking, 'What if we had this in the US? What if we had this partnering, this kind of concern for community, for helping other co-ops? A lot of the content of the Master’s program is not widely available here yet. To some extent, we are co-op management pioneers—helping to create and test the growing body of knowledge."-Chris Miller, Master's Graduate; National Cooperative Bank, USA