Studying abroad a chance to broaden horizons
19 July 2011
Travelling to exciting destinations, experiencing different cultures combined with studying towards your degree in another country may sound too good to be true - but it is possible thanks to the UC Study Abroad programme.
Travelling to exciting destinations, experiencing different cultures combined with studying towards your degree in another country may sound too good to be true – but it is possible thanks to the UC Study Abroad programme.
Currently more than 50 undergraduate students are taking part in the University’s programme allowing them to spend a semester or a full year at an overseas university.
Rachael Gresson, a third-year BA student, is at the University of California, Berkeley, on a year-long visit.
“I always knew I would apply for the Study Abroad programme. Travelling is something I absolutely love, and the first two years of my academic study had an American emphasis so I thought it was important to get over here and check it out for myself,” said Rachael.
“My courses at UC Berkeley have been mind blowing. They are focused on American politics, Third World development and LGBT [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered] studies. I feel so lucky to have studied these things from an American point of view. Not only does it help to balance out my Canterbury education but it has also been a fabulous year of personal growth. My professors are amazingly knowledgeable, well-known people. Not only do they write the textbooks that we study from here and in New Zealand but between two of my political science professors they have directly served for six American presidents.
“For an American politics junkie I knew I had found the right place for me.”
Ashleigh Stewart, also a third-year BA student, decided to travel to Waseda University in Japan for the chance to completely immerse herself in the language.
Majoring in Japanese and media and communication, she said Japan had offered her opportunities to get involved in things she never would have been able to do at home.
“For example, after the earthquake and tsunami over here, I went up to the Tohoku region for eight days to do some volunteer work. It was by far one of the best experiences of my life. Who'd have known sleeping on the floor of a tent, functioning without running water, and spending every day shovelling mud from houses would bring me so much satisfaction,” Ashleigh said.
Ashleigh teamed up with Sam Johnson and Jason Pemberton from the Christchurch Student Volunteer Army (SVA) during their visit to Japan and is now working with a group of Waseda University students to set up their own SVA operating out of Waseda.
“I'm also writing for an English magazine in Tokyo, which is going to help out my journalism career immeasurably.”
UC’s International Mobility Co-ordinator Dr Anna Foster said the University has exchange agreements with about 50 partner universities in 15 countries including the USA, UK, France, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan.
“The programme is not only a great way to travel and experience the world while studying but it also gives students the opportunity to enhance their CV and gain international experience before graduating,” Dr Foster said.
“It makes for a more well-rounded personal and academic education which can make a student stand out in the job market. They also get a chance to broaden their course choices and take courses not on offer at UC. And it goes without saying that most students have the time of their lives on exchange.”
- More information on study abroad opportunities can be found at http://www.canterbury.ac.nz/international/exchange/outgo.shtml?source=currentstudents.
- Information on the UC International Mobility Outbound Exchange Award can be found at http://www.canterbury.ac.nz/scholarshipsearch/ScholarshipDetails.aspx?ScholarshipID=6935.1331 .
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