Flying over the Himalayas in a private plane, scoring an extras role and credit in a Bollywood movie and working with disabled children in a Vietnamese orphanage are just some of the experiences that have opened the eyes and expanded the minds of Charles Sturt University (CSU) students.
One year after its launch, CSU Global
- a scheme offering international work experience and a truly global education to students - is on track to achieve CSU’s ambitious goal of 10 per cent participation by 2011.
CSU Global Manager Ms Alexandra Elibank-Murray, said the scheme is about innovation.
“We look to our students’ needs and requirements as graduates, and strive to build international experiences that will develop their skill base and attributes. All programs are academically recognised which ensures quality and student outcomes.
“By the end of 2010 we estimate over 300 students per year will be participating in more than 50 international programs ranging from one week to six months in over 20 countries including South Korea, East Timor, South Africa and Belgium.
“Opportunities open to both internal and distance education students include student exchange programs for study at CSU partner institutions; faculty-led short-term programs involving a variety of overseas study tours and programs; external provider short-term programs; overseas fieldwork or internships; volunteering; and we are currently working on a ‘Gap Year’ program,” Ms Elibank-Murray said.
In its report on CSU in February, the Australian Universities Quality Agency commended the CSU Global initiative “for its commitment to meeting an ambitious target for student mobility and for the opportunities it provides for students to gain international academic experiences”.
Bachelor of Education student Miss Anna Hill visited Vanuatu last year and spent a week teaching local and expatriate children. “The placement has had a positive impact on my teaching style, and I feel sure that it’s an experience that will stand out to prospective employers. I have a newfound appreciation of the Australian education system, and had valuable insights into teaching in multicultural settings,” she said.
Some of the programs planned for 2010 include a trip by Bachelor of Animal Science students to experience the gorillas in Borneo; allied health students will visit a Vietnamese orphanage to work alongside carers and interpreters with severely disabled children; Bachelor of Business students will gain professional practice experience in the USA; and pharmacy, medical science and forensic biotechnology students will gain insights into health care in the rural villages of India.