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E. Catherine Barclay Scholarship

Submitted by nnreimer on Mon, 12/05/2016 - 3:48pm

The E. Catherine Barclay Scholarship is a generous award ($7500) granted to an outstanding full-time student registered in any faculty at the University of Calgary wishing to pursue studies in France through an official exchange program, for two semesters. Award holders must select courses in which the language of instruction is French.

The selection criteria are:

  • academic merit

  • solid command of oral and written French

  • extra-curricular activities exhibiting concern for others

Apply now

What is the experience like?

Want to learn more about the experience of studying in France? Write to Paola Velasquez, former award recipient, to hear first-hand about how the E. Catherine Barclay Scholarship can change your life!

How else can I fund my exchange?

Students taking part in the exchange are also eligible to apply for the International Study Travel Grant  and the Universities Canada Travel Grant

Who Was E. Catherine Barclay?

E Catherine BarclayE. Catherine Barclay (1902-1985) was a blazer of many trails during her lifetime, and far more than a respected and beloved teacher of English and French. During her career as a high school teacher in Calgary, including 18 years (1937-1955) at Western Canada High, she spearheaded a minor revolution by encouraging – sometimes insisting – that her students speak French in the classroom. A great believer in student exchanges, she was instrumental in establishing a Summer School Scholarship to Quebec and France. In addition, she played a key role in creating the French section of the Banff School of Fine Arts and opening the Calgary branch of Alliance Française. In keeping with her desire to foster international goodwill and understanding, she engaged in the activities of the Calgary branch of the United Nations for many years.

Bragg Creek tent

In 1933, in a rented tent measuring 12’ x 14’, she and her sister Mary set up the first youth hostel in North America at Bragg Creek, Alberta. In recognition of their pioneering work in hosteling, Catherine and Mary were honored in 1973 by the Calgary Jaycees as Citizens of the Year. Later that same year the Government of Alberta also recognized the outstanding achievements of the two sisters at a special awards ceremony. In 1975 the Barclay sisters were honored with the Richard Schirrmann Medal presented by the International Hosteling Association of Germany.

The E. Catherine Barclay Award was established by a dedicated group of her friends, colleagues and former students to honour the memory of this exceptional educator and world citizen. To preserve the ideals and goals of Catherine Barclay, the award provides the opportunity for recipients to pursue their chosen areas of studies in France, to perfect their knowledge of French, to gain experience and an appreciation for living in another culture, and hopefully to acquire something of Catherine’s world view of the family of nations.


With the support of our great friends and donors, we have been able to implement the award on an annual basis, starting in 2016.

Donations still make a significant difference, and will help perpetuate the award ensuring high-calibre candidates, academic excellence, and community distinction.
Donate online

Donate by cheque - Please make your cheque out to the University of Calgary, with “E. Catherine Barclay Scholarship” in the memo line.
Send to:

Concetta Sonnenberg
Advisor, Faculty of Arts
Development and Alumni Engagement
University of Calgary
SS1306, 2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, AB  T2N 1N4

Thank you!