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Student story

Paige Sullivan

20 July 2023

"A virtual exchange allows you to develop more of a global mindset..."


Studying towards a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing

What motivated you to undertake the Virtual Exchange?

I was lucky to go to Beijing at the end of 2019 through the Explore Beijing programme. I really loved getting to know local university students there and experiencing their education style.

When the opportunity arose to undertake a virtual exchange to Audencia, I was excited to learn again with people from not only France, but around the globe. The beauty of online exchanges is that you are no longer confined to interacting with people physically in a room; you are able to connect with people from all corners of the world.

What did you study for your Virtual Exchange programme?

I studied two modules at Audencia Business School: Psychology of Money, and Issue & Crisis Management.

What were some of the highlights of your virtual exchange experience?

I really enjoyed working on group projects with people from different countries. Within the two group projects I completed, I worked with people from Japan, South Korea, France, Germany, and Brazil. I also loved interacting with my classmates and professors during sessions. The classes were designed in a way that allowed us to all discuss topics through either chat or our mics, rather than just sitting and listening to a lecturer speak.

Another highlight was speaking on cultural norms in New Zealand and learning how much they differ from other countries. This was especially interesting when discussing the COVID-19 response.

Any challenges you overcame during your virtual exchange?

I was nervous about the time difference, but I loved the classes so much that I didn’t even notice and time flew by! I really enjoyed getting to know people from other countries and both lecturers were engaging. I also found the lecturers to be supportive, working with me to ensure the course would work with the time difference.

I have learnt so much from the modules I completed that I really wouldn’t have learnt in New Zealand, as the professors had such a different globalised point of view; I thoroughly enjoyed the virtual exchange.

Did the virtual exchange enrich your UC experience?

Absolutely! I have already started to apply the learnings from my modules to my papers this year. UC emphasises the importance of having a global perspective and I feel that undertaking the virtual exchange has really exposed me to that. In my classes, there were people from all over the world, including Europe, South America and Asia. My lecturers were also from different nationalities – one being Polish and the other Malaysian. With these different nationalities came different perspectives and worldviews, which really added another level to the courses.

Any tips for other students thinking about virtual exchange?

I would definitely recommend that others undertake a virtual exchange! A virtual exchange allows you to develop more of a global mindset, learn new things, and meet new people – all while sitting at home! It is also a fantastic opportunities to learn from some incredible professors who are experts in their fields. Not only did I love what I learnt, but it gave me UC credit too – bonus!

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