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Student exchanges create ‘experience of a lifetime’

Posted by tmayer on Oct 23rd, 2013 and filed under Gallery, Top stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Sonja Vukovic, a fourth-year health sciences students, studied at Linnaeus University in Sweden last year, an experience that helped her grow both personally and professionally.

Sonja Vukovic, a fourth-year health sciences students, studied at Linnaeus University in Sweden last year, an experience that helped her grow both personally and professionally.

Sonja Vukovic grew significantly as a person and professional during her exchange in Sweden last year.

Attending Linnaeus University, the fourth-year health sciences student developed adaptability - something she says she now applies to situations she encounters here at home.

It was Sweden’s school system and having to complete one course every four weeks rather than five in a term that helped Vukovic learn how to go with the flow.

But studying abroad also helped her gain new perspective on her major, and, she hopes, useful skills for a career in public health.

“Learning about health in an international classroom setting definitely opened my eyes to different cultural health practices and how people learn differently around the world,” Vukovic said.

Each year, dozens of Brock students like Vukovic travel abroad for school through the Brock University student exchange program. This year, more than 130 Brock students will head to universities on six continents for one term or a full year to study.

International Services and Programs Abroad is currently holding information sessions through Nov. 12 to let others know about the educational opportunities that exist for them beyond Canada’s borders.

And to mark International Education Week, the department is also hosting a panel of students who have gone on exchanges to share their experiences. That discussion happens Nov. 20 from 10 to 11 a.m. in TA 307.

Over the past decade, international exchanges have become “an increasingly important part of the global higher education landscape,” said Christina Bosilo, manager of international learning programs.

They also help students become global citizens, she noted.

“Students that study in different academic setting will increase their academic opportunities, strengthen their personal development and enhance their career prospects,” Bosilo said. “Students will develop their international IQ, become more independent, all while earning credits that transfer back to their Brock degree.”

Talal Chaudhry studied in both Australia and New Zealand.

Talal Chaudhry studied in both Australia and New Zealand.

Kinesiology student Talal Chaudhry called his exchange to two universities - one in Australia, the other in New Zealand - the experience of a lifetime and one in which he learned to appreciate cultural differences.

Not only did he get to see a corner of the globe he’d only seen in on the big screen in the Lord of the Rings blockbusters, he also had the chance to work in his field. Chaudhry landed a job as a student kinesiologist for an amateur Australian football club.

“With a little effort, your opportunities while studying abroad are endless,” Chaudhry said.

For more information about the student exchange program information sessions, email exchanges@brocku.ca or view the schedule online.

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