University students can be transformed with overseas study says a Charles Sturt University (CSU) academic who recently led a student tour into the urban and rural areas of Cambodia.
Dr Jen Bond, a lecturer in the CSU School of Environmental Sciences, said the students receive experiences they would never receive as regular tourists, and that stimulates them to consider and apply their studies in new ways.
The nine students of various ages are enrolled in CSU environmental management and adventure ecotourism degrees in on-campus and online modes.
Listen to Dr Jen Bond here
Learning and living overseas
Dr Bond said,
“We met with leaders and program managers in government departments, non-government organisations, and universities, as well as village leaders and everyday people.
“The students discussed environmental and related development projects first-hand with relevant officials and project leaders – the positives and the challenges.
“They then visited the projects on the ground, around Phnom Penh and in the provinces. They could compare what they were hearing and what they were seeing. They had to think critically about what was happening, and they were really challenging themselves.
“During their experience, the students developed a video journal to capture their thoughts and interpretations throughout the trip.
“The students can now apply these skills of critical thinking and reflection to their own communities and workplaces, and consider their role as change agents in those spaces.”
“And it was also a great lot of fun to spend time away in such a different environment and culture – they really got to know fellow students, most of whom had never met in person!”
Overseas experiences for CSU students are coordinated through CSU Global.
Director of CSU Global Dr Shevahn Telfser said, “Opportunities such as the Cambodian experience for environmental science at Charles Sturt University allow students to develop as future professionals by immersing themselves in a diverse cultural experience.
“The overseas study experience contributes to a major graduate learning outcome for our students by developing an understanding not only of their local communities but also the communities around Australia and overseas.”
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