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New opportunities to study overseas


Brigid Veale
7 January 2008
Southern Cross University students will have new opportunities to study overseas following the announcement of new funding for study exchanges.

The University has received $161,500 in new Endeavour International Student Exchange Scholarship funding, bringing the total funding for study exchanges for 2008 to nearly $240,000.

Ms Christine Martin, the manager of Study Abroad and Student Exchange, said 50 scholarships would be available in addition to $200,000 of OS Help loans to assist with the expenses of studying abroad.

“One of the main reasons students choose to go on exchange is to get a different perspective in their subject areas,” Ms Martin said.

“Many students use their exchange semester as an opportunity to learn a second language or pursue a special interest. Students who have completed an exchange semester generally gain independence, build self-confidence in their own abilities and return with a different cultural perspective.

“Research has also shown that the experiences and challenges of an international exchange can give graduates a unique competitive advantage in finding work and achieving well in the workplace.”

The Endeavour Scholarship Program was set up by the federal government in part to encourage student mobility. It provides scholarships for exchanges to a range of destinations including Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and North America.

Ms Martin said while some students were worried about going to an Asian country because they did not speak the language, many or all units offered at the University’s partner institutions were taught in English.

“Choosing Asia as your exchange destination offers many wonderful advantages including the opportunity to learn the language and culture of our closest neighbours. Asia is also generally a more economical destination than North America and Europe,” she said.

Jake Hennessey, a graduate of the Bachelor of Environmental Science/Bachelor of Laws did an exchange at the City University Hong Kong.

“I would have to say that studying as an exchange student was the highlight of my tertiary career. City U itself was awesome. With over 26,000 students it was more a bustling metropolis than university,” Jake said.

“Each week fellow exchange students would be coming back to City U with tales from a few days trekking in Thailand, expeditions along the Great Wall of China, or touring the underground tombs of ancient Chinese emperors, protected by a thousand life-size terracotta warriors.”

Southern Cross University has also received IDP funding for 2008 which will provide scholarships for exchanges in Europe.

Information sessions for students interested in going on exchange will be held on all the campuses at Lismore, Coffs Harbour and Tweed Gold Coast in week two and five of semester. Information is also available at the exchange website or from the University’s International Office by phoning 6620 3876.

Photo: Jake Hennessey says his exchange to City University in Hong Kong was the highlight of his tertiary career.