Get the edge by studying abroad
A growing number of University of Adelaide students are seeking the "international experience" to give them an edge in the global job market.
This year, about 211 students are taking the opportunity to live and learn overseas via the Adelaide Abroad program offered by the University, gaining credit towards their degree at the same time.
The University offers students the chance to trade places with their peers at prestige universities in Europe, the United States, Canada, Asia and the Pacific.
Coordinator of the Adelaide Abroad program Paula Ritchie said interest in the program had skyrocketed in the past four years, with numbers more than doubling in that time.
The program is suitable for full-time students who have completed at least one year of their degree and want to spend one or two semesters overseas.
Most of the University's partner institutions offer courses in English, although 21-year-old Jade Cooper seized the opportunity to improve her Japanese in a year-long exchange at Kansai University in Osaka.
The fourth-year Law and International Studies student said the program had given her an insight into another culture, language and people that would not have been possible from a short visit.
"This exchange has inspired me to explore beyond Adelaide and Australia and to apply for internships and employment overseas when I graduate. We are citizens of an increasingly global community and I have no doubt these exchanges give new graduates a competitive edge," she said.
"Academically, I now have a more rounded appreciation of international relations and studying a language turned from a subject into a way of life," Jade said. "Studying abroad has also made me appreciate the value of a university education far more."
Tuition fees are waived for each exchange institution for incoming students, although all other costs are the student's responsibility. Students can expect to pay up to $2000 a month while living and studying overseas. They can apply for an OS-HELP loan of up to $5523 to help cover expenses such as accommodation and airfares. From 2010, the Federal Government will also remove the 20% fee payable on the loan.
University of Adelaide Aerospace Engineering and Commerce student Daniel Ali spent a semester at Purdue University in Indiana in 2008.
"I wanted to see more of the world and was intrigued by the US because we see a fairly stereotypical view of it via the mass media," Daniel said.
"I wasn't sure what to expect and although it was a culture shock, the experience was fantastic," he said.
"I made a lot of new friendships with people from a diversity of backgrounds and thanks to the Internet, have been able to keep in contact with all of them.
"My time abroad also gave me the opportunity to study some specialised subjects in aerospace engineering that are not available in Adelaide," he said.
Daniel said he believed the experiences he gained through his study exchange program would give him the edge in the job market when it came to graduating.
For more information on the program visit: www.adelaide.edu.au/student/study_abroad
Story by Candy Gibson