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Clockwise from top left: Ella Lanuel, Poppy Cox, Gemma Loveday and Charlotte Ryan.

Twenty students from Otago Business School on international exchange during Semester 2, 2023 at universities across eight countries have now returned home, with inspirational stories about wisdom gained and friendships made.

The students had each been awarded a Westpac Travelling Scholarship, in recognition of their strong leadership skills.

Speaking about her exchange to the University of Toronto in Canada, Ella Lanuel, an Accounting and Finance student, says the international experience “not only broadened my academic horizon and challenged me personally and professionally but also provided unique insights into the global nuances of finance and accounting.

“I found myself among a diverse cohort of peers both inside and outside of the classroom, exposing me to different perspectives and methodologies in finance and accounting and I feel this has enriched my ability to adapt to diverse business environments.”

Ella says weekends were a mix of cultural excursions and local adventures. “I got to travel and see landmarks like Niagara Falls, try many new foods, go to large varsity games and even experience new sports for the first time.”

Another scholarship recipient, Poppy Cox, reports that her time in Vienna, Austria was an amazing opportunity to explore and learn about that country’s history. “Both its imperial history, with palaces such as the Hofburg, Schöbrunn and Belvedere being right at my feet, and its grand architectural history.

“This was particularly gratifying because I never had the capacity to pick up history despite always enjoying the subject. Living in Vienna allowed me to finally scratch that itch, using my spare time to take myself on walking tours and to museums to learn more.”

For her exchange in the United Kingdom, Charlotte Ryan completed three papers at the University of Manchester covering advanced corporate finance and governance topics.

She describes the papers as taught in a very similar style to Otago but allowing insight of a more international scope.

Charlotte says she appreciated the way in which the papers were illustrated with empirical evidence that was drawn from surveys around the UK. “There was significantly more information available compared to data drawn from New Zealand.”

She also enjoyed the extra-curricular activities on her exchange. “In Manchester, I lived in a flat of seven first year students and I absolutely loved it. I not only met students from England but also other exchange students from around the world. I was involved in touch rugby and the surf club which was a wonderful way to get involved in Manchester’s student life.”

Also based in the UK on her exchange was commerce student Gemma Loveday who says her time at the University of Exeter was “a once in a lifetime opportunity that I am so grateful for. I made so many new friends from different countries that I hope to keep in contact with for a long time and it gave me the chance to visit so many amazing places and countries.”

About the Westpac Travelling Scholarship

Established in 1953 by the Trustees of the Dunedin Savings Bank (now Westpac).

The scholarship (of up to $3,000) is awarded to students studying for degrees and diplomas within the Business School who have been accepted for the University’s exchange programme in a school on the current Business School Approved Exchange Partners List. Students are required to demonstrate academic excellence and a capacity for leadership and responsibility in business, community or educational affairs.

Applications for the scholarship for travel in Semester 2, 2024 close on 30 April.

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