Expanding the borders of education, a new College of the Mainland study abroad program will enable students to experience another culture and explore green building techniques in Canada.
The program, funded by the North American Mobility Grant, provides free tuition for students to study and gain hands-on experience with eco-friendly design, business and construction at one of two Canadian colleges. Students also receive a $5,000 stipend for living expenses.
“Students need global skills to compete in global economy,” said Luis Sabido, COM associate professor of sociology and project director for the North American Mobility Grant. “We are preparing them through these programs to be exposed to global issues affecting our planet and how these issues impact human behavior.”

One partner college, St. Lawrence College in Ontario, provides internship opportunities in a variety of fields, including business, marketing and engineering. College Communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick in New Brunswick offers hands-on courses in green building techniques through cabinetmaking and woodworking classes.
In addition to technical knowledge, students will gain an introduction to the French language and to a unique culture.
“An exposure to green building strategies is important. Even more important is the cultural experience and interacting with people who are diverse,” said Sabido. “The world is more globally diverse. The student will come back prepared for the real world.”
According to the grant, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, the program will “enhance [students’] technical, linguistic and personal experiences through exposure to different cultures and techniques.”
To be eligible, students must be full-time COM students and complete an application. Following interviews, two students will be selected. Students in all majors and areas of study—art, business and drafting, to name a few—are encouraged to apply for the program.
“This experience may spark a student’s imagination,” said Sabido.
For more information, contact Luis Sabido at 409-933-8374 or lsabido@com.edu.