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Red Deer Polytechnic’s new Global Skills Opportunity program to help students gain international study and work abroad experiences

Date posted:
Thursday, January 12, 2023

RDP Abroad Program

Eligible Red Deer Polytechnic students will have the opportunity to enhance their competencies and career opportunities by participating in unique global experiences, including in Costa Rica and Saint Lucia, through the newly launched RDP Abroad program.

This exciting study and work abroad program will provide learners with valuable opportunities to experience different cultures, develop their skills, and grow academically and personally through life-enhancing experiences. These academic and cultural learning opportunities are offered through the Global Skills Opportunity program, which is funded by Employment and Social Development Canada and jointly administered by Colleges and Institutes Canada and Universities Canada. 

Through the RDP Abroad Biology Experience, students enrolled in Red Deer Polytechnic’s Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences degree can apply to work with the Centre for Rescue of Endangered Marine Species (CREMA) and Turtle Trax, which are organizations responsible for sea turtle conservation in Costa Rica. Learners will participate in applied research while receiving credit for their work. Students have the option to select a three week volunteer experience or apply for a three month research assistant role. 

In addition, learners enrolled in the Polytechnic’s Practical Nurse Diploma program can develop their health promotion skills and expand global connections while working in Saint Lucia communities.

“These national and global partnerships will provide unique learning opportunities for Red Deer Polytechnic students as they prepare for their careers,” says Stuart Cullum, President of Red Deer Polytechnic. “The Global Skills Opportunity program also provides a framework for Red Deer Polytechnic to explore additional international work and study opportunities for students, extending our global impact.” 


Global Skills Opportunity is expected to enable more than 16,000 Canadian polytechnic, college and undergraduate-level university students to acquire the global skills employers want and the national economy needs. Global Skills Opportunity is a key component of the Government of Canada’s International Education Strategy.  

While open to all Canadian post-secondary students, the national program targets groups for whom international experiences have traditionally been less accessible - specifically Indigenous learners, students from low-income backgrounds and those with disabilities. It also aims to diversify destination countries where Canadian students pursue international learning. 

By empowering post-secondary institutions to implement innovative solutions to barriers of participation, Global Skills Opportunity will expand the horizons of Canadian learners from coast to coast, and improve the nation’s competitiveness on the world stage. 

“Global Skills Opportunity is breaking down financial, social and logistical barriers that have prevented too many underrepresented students from participating in global study and work opportunities. Through this ambitious and ground-breaking program, thousands of young Canadians will have transformational experience abroad. Their newfound global perspective and skills will inform the way they live and work for decades to come,” says Paul Davidson, President of Universities Canada.

“Study and work abroad programs are invaluable learning experiences that ensure students are culturally literate, resilient, adaptable and ready to succeed in an increasingly globalized world. This is perhaps more important than ever, which is why we are so proud to work with our partners to deliver Global Skills Opportunity. This groundbreaking program will allow more Canadian students to access these opportunities to develop the skills they need to gain a foothold in today’s global marketplace,” says Denise Amyot, President of Colleges and Institutes Canada.

More information about the RDP Abroad program, including how to apply, is available online



For media inquiries about RDP Abroad, contact:    


brent [dot] forster [at] rdpolytech [dot] ca (Brent Forster)    

Communications Strategist – Corporate    

Red Deer Polytechnic    


For more information about Global Skills Opportunity, please visit: 




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