A group of Otago Polytechnic students have expanded their horizons courtesy of scholarships from a Shanghai tertiary education institution.
Bill Hendry, Whitney Kirk, Danielle Philippa, Hannah Rasmussen, Mary Dewe, Lucy Mayne and Tatyana King-Finau recently returned from the Shanghai University of International Business and Economics, where they spent four weeks engaged in a variety of classes and cultural activities.
Bachelor of Culinary Arts student Whitney Kirk says Shanghai was her first overseas trip, which made the experience all the more “amazing”.
“As part of my elective, I’m studying group theory, so being part of a contingent that was quite different to most other people in Shanghai was a real eye-opener.”
Bachelor of Applied Management student Danielle Philippa says that although she’s no stranger to international travel, the opportunity to connect with other students from around the world was invaluable.
“I feel some of the connections I have made will last a long time – perhaps throughout my life.”
Bachelor of Design (Communication) student Hannah Rasmussen says coping with Mandarin was more an opportunity than a barrier.
“I did a lot of learning over there. Mandarin is now a real passion and I’m working hard at it. Having worked overseas, I know how important it is to have ability in another language.
“I reckon more than half of the things I learned in China happened outside the classroom, in informal settings.
“Every student should do this. It’s a great way to break down stereotypes of cultures, too.”
Graduate Diploma of Applied Management student Bill Hendry says his mind has been opened to other cultures as well as the opportunities that personal growth and transformation bring.
“The experience has expanded my idea of what is possible.”
Otago Polytechnic fosters a wide range of overseas partnerships to provide opportunities for its students to prepare for the global workforce. Such experiences also greatly enhance their personal and professional capabilities.
Studying abroad can help students creatively solve problems by applying familiar concepts to unfamiliar situations. These include looking at a project from different perspectives, learning from people whose value systems may be different, and being flexible and adaptable.
In a recent survey, employers ranked the following as the top four employability skills for tertiary graduates:
- ability to communicate verbally with persons inside and outside the organization
- ability to make decisions and solve problems
- ability to plan, organize, and prioritize work
- ability to obtain and process information.
Read more about Otago Polytechnic’s International partnerships
Published on 2 Sep 2019
Orderdate: 2 Sep 2019
Expiry: 31 May 2021