Students from the University of New Brunswick Saint John will soon have a unique opportunity to study abroad in the United States and Mexico. 

UNBSJ is a partner in a six-university consortium that has received $450,000 from the Canadian, American and Mexican governments to fund a student-exchange and research project.  The funding will help promote and enhance international learning and build partnerships between universities and students. 

Sociology professor Joseph Galbo will serve as the project manager for UNBSJ for what’s being called the North American Mobility project.  Initiated by two professors from Wilfrid Laurier University, the project will allow up to 10 UNBSJ students and 10 Wilfrid Laurier students over a three-year period to study at a partner institution for one term.  Those institutions include Georgia Southern University and the University of Vermont in the United States; the Universidad Veracruzana and Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico; and Canadian partner Wilfrid Laurier University.  The exchange will allow students to develop a research project on North Americans’ perceptions and misperceptions of one another and their impact on public policy in all three countries. 

“We are excited that we will be able to fund UNBSJ students to study abroad and participate in a research project about North America,” says professor Galbo. 

“We have started to develop a program that will deliver an outstanding international experience for our students and we need to do more at UNB to ensure that undergraduates receive funding to study abroad.”

In return, UNBSJ will host four students from the United States and four students from Mexico.

UNBSJ Vice President Robert MacKinnon says the grant will help Canadian, Mexican, and American students to gain better knowledge of each other’s countries and cultures. 

“This international mobility project will benefit both our students and our classrooms,” says MacKinnon.

“Our participation will allow our students to gain invaluable international experience, both at home and abroad, and will contribute positively to UNB Saint John’s overall internationalization efforts.”

In total, 52 students from the three countries will be funded to participate in the project.  The North American Mobility grant will provide eligible students with up to $5,000 for international transportation, a living stipend, a small book/research allowance and language training if needed.  The University of New Brunswick Saint John will work with Wilfrid Laurier to oversee the exchange of a total of 20 Canadian students to partner schools.

The project will focus on students in their third and fourth year of study in arts or social sciences, but the grant is open to all students interested in cross-cultural North American studies.

Canada’s Human Resources and Skills Development provided Laurier & UNBSJ with $160,000 in direct funding, and the project also received $190,000 from the United States federal government and $100,000 from the Mexican government.

For more information, or to apply for the exchange, contact: Ase Kelly Berg, International Programs Advisor, UNB Saint John, at 506-648-5618, or akberg@unb.ca.