Red Deer Polytechnic (RDP) student Keanna Richards was one of 40 Canadian post-secondary learners who were selected to share their international experiences at CICan on the Hill in Ottawa.

Richards, who is a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences student, recently attended the prestigious event alongside Canadian parliamentarians to discuss her participation in the RDP Abroad Biology Experience. This innovative project is funded by the Government of Canada’s Global Skills Opportunity (GSO).

“The Global Skills Opportunity program helps to create life-changing academic, cultural and social opportunities for RDP learners in Biological Sciences and Practical Nursing,” says Werner Beylefeld, Dean of International Education at RDP. “These study abroad experiences highly complement the education, training and applied research opportunities that are available at the Polytechnic.”

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During three months in Costa Rica, Richards worked as a Research Assistant with the Center for Rescue of Endangered Marine Species (CREMA). While immersing herself in local culture, Richards conducted research on the relationship between the egg sizes of sea turtles and maternal and hatchling body size.

After growing her skills and knowledge about sea turtle conservation in Costa Rica, Richards traveled directly to Ottawa to participate in CICan on the Hill, complementing her RDP Abroad Biology Experience.

“CICan on the Hill was an amazing opportunity where I was able to share my experiences abroad with policy makers, MPs and other students who were also able to travel abroad with the Global Skills Opportunity program,” explains Richards.

The event focused on international education and highlighted the GSO program and its value to students, including to Richards