New Exchange Opportunity Will Bring CBU Students to Poland

A new Global Skills Opportunity project will allow Cape Breton University students to gain international study experience in Poland. The project, recently awarded $374,000 from Universities Canada, focuses on using student exchange opportunities to build revitalization efforts in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality (CBRM) based on the success of CBRM’s post-industrial twin city, Walbrzych, Poland. 

In 2019, CBRM and Walbrzych signed a Twin City Agreement, featuring cooperation among various local stakeholders, including both areas’ universities. Shortly after the Twin City Agreement came into effect between the two municipalities, CBU and Angelus Silesius University of Applied Sciences in Walbrzych signed a Memorandum of Understanding and a Student Exchange Agreement, allowing students to take courses at the other university without additional fees. Four Walbrzych students have already taken a course offered through CBU. 

Now, in connection with this newly funded Global Skills Opportunity project, participating CBU students in Political Science and Public Administration programs will experience international learning at the Angelus Silesius University of Applied Sciences through six-week, for-credit, summer intensive courses and field work in Poland. Faculty from both universities will deliver the courses, The students will return as champions of the partner city project, helping to deepen ties between Walbrzych and the CBRM. They will be expected to apply their learning in Cape Breton through a service-learning component. 

“An important and unique access door has just opened for study in our twin city of Walbrzych,” explains Dr. Tom Urbaniak, CBU Professor of Political Science and chair of the Twin City Steering Committee.“Participating students will gain deeper, first-hand understanding of strategies, policy tools and administrative competencies required to successfully transition to a post-industrial economy.”

The new funding will allow CBU to provide aid to low-income students to cover travel and accommodation. Under the already existing student-exchange agreement, CBU students will not have to pay additional tuition beyond their CBU tuition. Cape Breton’s Polish community will assist in preparing CBU students for study in Poland. 

“Cape Breton University sees the value in deepening the ties to the Cape Breton Regional Municipality’s twin city, Walbrzych,” says David Dingwall, Cape Breton University President. “By building on our student exchange agreement with the Angelus Silesius University of Applied Sciences, our students will have the unique opportunity of experiencing a summer exchange in Poland and returning as community leaders.” 

This project was made possible by funding from the Government of Canada’s Outbound Student Mobility Pilot Program. Global Skills Opportunity is a national outbound student mobility program that is expected to enable more than 16,000 Canadian college and undergraduate-level university students from across the country to acquire the global skills employers want and the Canadian economy needs. To learn more, visit: 

The City of Walbrzych is in Lower Silesia, in southwestern Poland. It is a former coal-mining city of 115,000 people that has sought to remake itself as an environmental leader and as a leading city of creativity.