Global once again – students embark on international exchanges

By Marina Barbaro

Emily on tour in Bordeaux during her exchange to France. Emily on tour in Bordeaux during her exchange to France.

UniSA business student Emily Farrell has become the first exchange student to head overseas for study since the reopening of Australian borders.

Emily, who is studying a Bachelor of Business (Management), is the first student to embark on an exchange since the travel component of the program was put on hold for almost two years during the COVID pandemic.

As part of her two-week summer school program at the KEDGE Business School in Bordeaux, southwest France, Emily studied supply chain management and design and enjoyed the opportunity to visit a multinational company implementing cutting edge techniques.

“The exchange offered me a unique perspective into my studies and an international insight that I wouldn’t have had the chance to experience in Australia, let alone Adelaide,” Emily says.

As part of the University’s mobility program, students are supported to participate in a range of short term and full semester exchange opportunities to university partners across the globe including Europe, North and South America and destinations across Asia and the Pacific.

Studying overseas has long been recognised as a valuable opportunity for students to develop independence and broaden their global perspective while also expanding professional and personal networks.

“The highlight was meeting new people from all over the world, studying and coming together, learning about different cultures and making new friends,” Emily says.

The opportunity to explore the world while earning credit towards a degree is a real drawcard for students. As well as formal studies, Emily’s program included the chance to explore the region with bike and boat tours along Bordeaux’s famous and picturesque Garonne River.

“There were many activities organised by the university and the social group, so we got to see a lot of Bordeaux. Activities included city tours, a boat tour, a visit to Arcachon, games and picnics,” Emily says.

Emily’s trip to France is the start of a triumphant return for UniSA's mobility program with another 20 students preparing to embark on a range of experiences across Singapore, Fiji, USA, Canada, Belgium and New Zealand.

Although the physical exchange program has been on hold, the University maintained its commitment to internationalisation thanks to a virtual program, helping students learn and develop global connections.

During the pandemic more than 200 students participated in virtual international experiences which, despite borders being open once again, are set to continue due to the success of the program.

Students will get the chance to be part of the UniSA Global Leadership Forum which is set to run later this year. The forum will see hundreds of students come together worldwide to hear from visionary global leaders and develop their own leadership skills.

UniSA students interested in studying overseas should visit the UniSA Student Exchange website.