Among a quartet of Otago Polytechnic students who received a Prime Minister’s Scholarship to Asia, Georgia Baird says her Japan experience was life-changing.
It was amazing to meet so many people and I feel it enabled me to develop a greater understanding of so many different cultures.
“Be prepared to be challenged.”
Those are key words of advice from Georgia Baird, an Otago Polytechnic Bachelor of Applied Management student who recently returned from 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 learnt a lot about the Asian market and economy.
“The experience also built on my people skills. I learnt 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 getting used, she adapted and grew in confidence.
I developed a greater degree of independence when travelling by myself. The extra travel I was able to do was definitely a highlight. My parents also visited and we were able to travel all around Japan together.
"It was amazing to meet so many people and I feel it enabled me to develop a greater understanding of so many different cultures."
Gain a business degree based in real-world knowledge. As organisations are constantly changing, real-life learning is more relevant than ever. This programme has industry experiences at its centre with case studies and workplace-based or focused assignments. The practical learning doesn’t stop there as you’ll also complete an internship during your third year. This internship will place you within a real-world business where you’ll need to complete a research project as part of your time with the organisation. A Capable NZ option is available for those with relevant work experience and in Dunedin you can specialise in up to two majors from your second year.