Student story

Georgia Baird

Whilst studying the Bachelor of Applied Management, Georgia Baird received a Prime Minister's Scholarship to Asia. Georgia describes this opportunity was life-changing and added so much to her learning experience.

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“Be prepared to be challenged.”

Those are key words of advice from Georgia Baird, a Bachelor of Applied Management student who went on a five-month study scholarship in Japan.

Georgia was among a group of four Otago Polytechnic students who received a Prime Minister’s Scholarship to Asia, the quartet attending Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto over its spring semester.

“The experience at Ritsumeikan University was great,” says Georgia, who was joined by fellow Otago Polytechnic students Luke van der Vliet, Jessica Banks, and Emily Dixon-Pawson.

“The professors were from all over the world, including Japan, Hungary, Germany, and New Zealand. There was also a ‘Beyond Borders Plaza’, which was like an international common room.

“I studied International Relations on the Kinugasa campus, completing papers on International Law, International Organisations, Media and Society, Social Development, Global Environmental Issues, Japanese Culture, and Japanese Society.”

Georgia, who is about to complete her third and final year of the Bachelor of Applied Management, says the International Relations programme broadened both her education and general knowledge.

“Most of our study was in an Asian context, too, so I learned a lot about the Asian market and economy.

“The experience also built on my people skills. I learned to interact with people from not only Japan but all over the world, as I lived in a dormitory with 200 international students.”

Although Georgia says the cultural differences took some time to get used to, she adapted and grew in confidence.

"It was amazing to meet so many people and I feel it enabled me to develop a greater understanding of so many different cultures."

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