Types of Experiential Learning | Experiential Education | Academics | UNB

Types of Experiential Learning

Experiential learning opportunities offer more than a degree

Experiential education helps students to create knowledge while reflecting on their experiences.

A wide variety of experiential education opportunities are available in all UNB faculties. These opportunities are categorized by the partners engaged and the type of experiential engagement:

  • ExperienceUNB: opportunities for work-integrated learning (WIL)
  • EngagedUNB: opportunities for community-engaged learning (CEL).

Experiential learning opportunities can be curricular or co-curricular.

ExperienceUNB: Work Integrated Learning (Curricular WIL)

Helping students enter the world of work and prepare for the future. Opportunities are embedded in program or course design and involve employer or industry engagement.

Paid workplace experience in a setting related to student’s field of study. Typically undertaken in alternating work terms and study terms.

  • Gabriel Ibarra worked with Sankara, a new business selling international food through local vendors, and built them a mobile app to help connect them to new customers during his Computer Science co-op work term.
  • Kyle Benson completed a co-op term as a Business Support Intern with Future Link NB and the Chamber of Commerce, partnering with various local businesses in two-week increments to help develop project plans in areas that will benefit businesses the most.

Co-ops are available in:

  • Faculty of Arts (Saint John)
  • Faculty of Business (Saint John)
  • Faculty of Computer Science (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Computer Science (Saint John)
  • Faculty of Engineering (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Management (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Science (Fredericton)

Discipline-specific, supervised, structured work experience or practice placement. Can be paid, unpaid, and/or for academic credit.

  • Aishwarya Yewle completed an internship for her MBA program at 3DPlaneta, where she focused on marketing for 2metre, an initiative helping businesses address COVID-19 restrictions and their accompanying challenges.
  • Sarah Lunney completed her Arts internship with the Saint John Community Food Basket by advocating to local and federal governments, connecting with other local agencies and proposing new projects to help tackle food insecurity.

Internships are available in:

  • EngagedUNB Summer Internship Program
  • Faculty of Arts (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Arts (Saint John)
  • Faculty of Business (Saint John)
  • Faculty of Computer Science (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Computer Science (Saint John)
  • Faculty of Education (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Forestry & Environmental Management (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Kinesiology (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Law (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Management (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Recreation and Sports Studies (Fredericton)
  • Renaissance College (Fredericton)

Work experience supervised by an experienced registered or licensed professional, required for professional licensure or certification.

  • Amanda Cherry and a group of fellow Saint John Nursing practicum students hosted Teddy Bear Health Clinics and health education sessions at local elementary schools, putting classroom theory into practice and educating students about relevant health subjects.
  • Abby Dunlop completed a 16-week education practicum at Island View School in Saint John, where she taught and planned lessons for a first-grade French-immersion class, giving them a solid foundation of the language.

Practicums and placements are available in:

  • Faculty of Arts (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Arts (Saint John)
  • Faculty of Education (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Kinesiology (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Nursing (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Science, Applied Science, & Engineering (Saint John)

International work experience supervised by an experienced registered or licensed professional, required for professional licensure or certification. See Global Learning and Engagement to find out more about international opportunities at UNB.


Using cases, problems, or inquiries to place events in a context that promotes authentic learning. Usually does not involve an external partner.

  • Dan Doiron teaches in the UNB Saint John Faculty of Business and takes a great interest in case studies. His bestselling case study What Business is Zara in? was written for his fourth-year capstone course and MBA course, Strategic Management, to help students engage classroom knowledge in real-world business scenarios.
  • Through Canadian Economic Development (ECON 3017), Tashi Dorji, an arts student, worked through NouLAB, an organization taking a ‘think tank’ approach to problem-solving in which students were able to learn from each other and interpret questions creatively and collectively.

Case-based learning is available in:

  • Faculty of Arts (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Arts (Saint John)
  • Faculty of Business (Saint John)
  • Faculty of Education (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Engineering (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Forestry & Environmental Management (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Kinesiology (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Management (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Science (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Science (Saint John)
  • Faculty of Science, Applied Science, & Engineering (Saint John)
  • Faculty of Recreation and Sport Studies (Fredericton)
  • Renaissance College (Fredericton)

Co-Curricular WIL

  • Competitions
  • Showcases
  • Conferences
  • Teaching apprenticeships
  • Job shadowing
  • Summer or part-time jobs

EngagedUNB: Community Engaged Learning (Curricular CEL)

Students do hands-on, meaningful work that helps solve real, immediate issues. Opportunities are embedded in program or course design and involve community engagement.

Activities designed to promote learning and development, while addressing human and community needs. Engages a community organization as an external partner.

  • As part of the EngagedUNB Summer Internship Program, Jacqueline Nsubuga completed an internship with UNB Sustainability as a Sustainability Engagement & Education Intern, where she collaborated with students, faculty, and staff in order to promote and foster sustainable communities on both the Fredericton and Saint John campuses.
  • Alexis Grant, a business administration student, was a part of a team of students who worked with the New Brunswick Association for Community Living, an organization that works on behalf of children and adults with intellectual impairments and their families, to provide the organization with strategic insights to strengthen their revenue generating program.

Community service learning is available in:

  • Faculty of Arts (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Arts (Saint John)
  • Faculty of Business (Saint John)
  • Faculty of Education (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Engineering (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Forestry & Environmental Management (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Kinesiology (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Law (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Management (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Nursing (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Recreation and Sport Studies (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Science, Applied Science, & Engineering (Saint John)
  • Promise Partnership (Saint John)
  • Renaissance College (Fredericton)

Research that actively involves those affected by the issue being studied, for the purpose of finding useful results to make positive change. Engages a community organization as an external partner.

  • Catherine Taylor, a Social Science in Practicum (SOCS4501) student, worked with the Saint John Newcomers Centre on the podcast Radicalized: Anti-Racism Conversations, spreading education and awareness of racism through the collection of the stories of guest speakers and community members.
  • Hannah Thorne, a Business Administration student, was a member of a team of 10 students who completed a report on the impacts of COVID-19 on the Saint John active and public transportation for the city’s vulnerable populations.

Community-based research is available in:

  • Faculty of Arts (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Arts (Saint John)
  • Faculty of Business (Saint John)
  • Faculty of Forestry & Environmental Management (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Law (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Management (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Recreation and Sport Studies (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Science, Applied Science, & Engineering (Saint John)
  • Renaissance College (Fredericton)

Students work in an authentic setting to study and apply theoretical or academic knowledge and concepts.

  • Misty McKinney and Alison Ireland, both Arts students in Fredericton, participated in an archaeological field school in Maine with funding from FutureNB and helped uncover Maine’s oldest canoe as part of their placement.
  • Bethany Nordstrom was one of many Forestry and Environmental Management students who have participated in the Fall Camp, a fourth-year course which allows students to gain hands-on and community service experience.

Field experience is available in:

  • Faculty of Arts (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Arts (Saint John)
  • Faculty of Business (Saint John)
  • Faculty of Computer Science (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Education (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Engineering (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Forestry & Environmental Management (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Law (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Management (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Nursing (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Recreation and Sport Studies (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Science (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Science, Applied Science, and Engineering (Saint John)

Recognizes Wabanaki knowledge which fundamentally positions land as a pedagogical framework. Land-based education opportunities engage participants in critical reflection on reciprocal relations and ethical practices while using Land as the site and object of learning.

Land-based education is available in:

  • Mi’kmaq Wolastoqey Centre (Faculty of Education – Fredericton)

Travel Study: Students complete one or more of UNB’s academic courses while abroad for academic credit.

International Exchange: Students complete one or more of a partner university’s academic courses for academic credit, cross-cultural engagement, and personal and professional development.

International Service Learning: International community service learning/community-engaged learning. Students reflect on course content, global and intercultural issues and their impact on global citizens, and engage in cross-cultural dialogue.

For more information, see the Department of Global Learning & Engagement.


Co-Curricular CEL

  • Student clubs
  • Volunteer experiences
  • Athletics
  • UNB’s co-curricular program

Customizable learning opportunities

Some experiences can be either work-integrated learning or community-engaged learning, depending on the partner engaged.

Research conducted by a student with guidance from faculty in an academic, industry, or community setting. May be conducted independently or as a course project.

  • Mackenzie Smith was a part of a group of students in The Nature of History (HIST5901), taught by Dr. Cindy Brown, who completed an oral history project gathering testimony looking into the challenges and impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Aya Benotmane, an engineering student working through Pathways to Professions, completed an examination of tourism expansion in New Brunswick as part of the BoostNB initiative to measure whether the province is on its way to reaching its economic goals.

Applied research is available in:

  • Faculty of Arts (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Arts (Saint John)
  • Faculty of Business (Saint John)
  • Faculty of Computer Science (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Education (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Engineering (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Forestry & Environmental Management (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Kinesiology (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Management (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Nursing (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Science (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Science (Saint John)
  • Faculty of Science, Applied Science, & Engineering (Saint John)
  • Renaissance College (Fredericton)

Activities which bring together knowledge and learning from student’s entire degree program. This typically asks students to apply their knowledge in a project-based setting with real-world applicability.

  • Abby Culberson completed a capstone research project for her Environmental Management 4020 Capstone Practicum course, looking at maintaining a healthy population of muskie fish in the Saint John River.
  • Kari Anderson and a team of fellow engineering students in the Capstone Design Course completed a project working with Kingsclear First Nation to expand housing accommodations for their growing and changing community.

 Capstone projects are available in:

  • Faculty of Arts (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Business (Saint John)
  • Faculty of Computer Science (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Education (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Engineering (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Forestry & Environmental Management (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Management (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Science (Fredericton)
  • Faculty of Science, Applied Science, & Engineering (Saint John)
  • Renaissance College (Fredericton)

Activities intended to find solutions to real world problems, culminating in a concrete end product. May or may not involve an external partner.

  • Ingmara Wheeler, a civil engineering student, worked with the Department of Transportation for her team’s senior design project, designing two covered bridges to be built in St. Martin’s while considering economic, social, environmental, and historical constraints.
  • Holly Ayles, a student in the business capstone course Strategic Management, worked with her class to complete marketing research and strategizing to increase sales possibilities for Malley Industries, a company manufacturing ambulances, wheelchair accessible vehicles and other mobility-centered products.

Project-based learning can be found in all UNB faculties!