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The application deadline for the 2020 School Ambassador Programme is Thursday 16 April.

Due to COVID-19, this year's ambassador programme will be different to that originally planned. The in-school visits will now take place online. Ambassadors will use Zoom or other digital technologies.

With the move online, we can no longer offer a reimbursement for ambassadors to travel home. To thank ambassadors for their time a voucher will be given, details to come.  

We will contact all applicants to let them know about changes to this year's programme.

student ambassador students walking

You’re heading home for the break, could you use a little help getting there?

Become a school ambassador and let us help pay for your trip home – up to a $300 travel reimbursement or a $50 Prezzy® card for local students.

About the School Ambassador Programme

The Student Ambassador Programme provides travel reimbursements for students to visit their former secondary school and speak with students about life at university, what their programme/major is, and why they chose Otago.

We’re looking for students:

  • In second or third year at Otago (more senior students can apply)
  • Lived in a flat, at one of Otago’s residential colleges, or as a local in Dunedin or Wellington
  • Are confident speakers
  • Involved in extra-curricular activities at Otago
  • Are passionate about the subjects they are studying

What’s involved in being a school ambassador?

Before your school visit

Successful applicants will be given resources and training to help things go smoothly during the school visit.

You’ll also attend a briefing session with our Schools’ Liaison team so you’re well prepared and know what you need to cover in your talk.

You’ll need to get in touch with your former secondary school to arrange your visit. Ideally school visits happen during the semester break when university exams are over but secondary schools are still in session. The University will give you a letter to give to the school to help explain what the School Ambassador Programme is all about.

During your school visit

You’ll talk to a group of students about what life is like at Otago, what you love about your campus city, what your programme is like and why you chose it. You’ll also answer questions from the students.

You’ll also need to check in with your school contact while you’re there.

After your visit

Tell us how your school visit went and let us know who your school contact is so that we can follow up with them.

You’ll need to give us some information before we can issue your travel reimbursement or Prezzy card.

Be sure to add your school ambassador experience to your CV.

The rewards of being a school ambassador

As a school ambassador you will:

  • give back to your community
  • receive social media and online training
  • learn online communication skills
  • gain networking opportunities

Reclaiming your travel costs

Students will receive reimbursements up to a maximum of $300 for travel within New Zealand. The University is not paying for you to travel home, rather subsidising a journey you were already planning to make.

This is a reimbursement based on the actual cost of travel. GST receipts for travel costs will be required.

Reimbursements do not cover any accommodation costs.

Before travel costs can be reimbursed, you’ll be asked to provide:

  • A report on your visit (200-500 words)
  • Your school contact name and details for future follow up
  • A signed reimbursement claim form
  • Original receipts (GST only, not EFTPOS)
  • Your bank details in eVision

Prezzy cards for local students

If you don’t need to travel to visit your old secondary school you will be reimbursed for your time with a Prezzy card valued at $50.

Before the Prezzy card is issued, you will need to provide:

  • A short report on your visit (200-500 words)
  • Your school contact name and details

Apply to become a school ambassador

Apply now

The deadline for completed applications is Thursday 16 April 2020.

We will be in touch with all applicants soon after the application deadline to let them know about changes to this year's programme.

For further information