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Alice Howell

Blossom outside Clocktower

Alice Howell.
Alice Howell

Student
Psychology, Film and Media Studies,
Spanish

If you're from Tauranga but speak with a hint of a Canadian accent and can also get by in Spanish, it's a good bet you're involved in the University of Otago's student exchange programme.

Meet Alice Howell. She's very involved, holding down the job of the programme's Promotions Assistant.

Her last study destination was Vancouver, Canada, where she learnt to snowboard, travelled the country and worked at a café on campus to supplement her student allowance, which was automatically transferred to her Canadian account. Hooking up one of the readily available travel grants smoothed the financial path and a scholarship also helped.

Alice planned to make her next study destination Mexico for a semester of Spanish but the lure of more overseas travel has been postponed for other projects. There is the chance she may be able to use her Film and Media Studies skills working on a feature film planned for Dunedin plus there is the capping show to choreograph.

The flexibility of the programme is demonstrated by the Film and Media Studies major studying Psychology in Canada, then looking at studying Spanish in Mexico. What's a little mysterious is that the International Office has to actively recruit candidates to place at 70 prestigious universities spread over 30 countries where the courses are often in English.

"A lot of students are scared because they think an exchange will prolong their degree, but papers studied overseas can be credited back," she says. "Some students also hesitate because they're afraid they'll miss the fun Dunedin lifestyle...I fitted right back in and the exchange gave me amazing experiences to share with everyone."