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Study abroad students explore their potential to become global change makers

17 August 2022

An innovative programme that merges sustainability education with an introduction to social entrepreneurship has been piloted with the latest influx of University of Auckland Study Abroad students.

As soon as the international borders opened, the University of Auckland was ready to welcome international students with open arms. In July a cohort of 102 students arrived in Auckland from the United States and Europe for a six month stay in New Zealand. The students are from a wide variety of study disciplines and while in New Zealand will take courses that can be credited towards their degree at home. Students came from more than 60 different universities including Harvard, Arts et Métiers Paris Tech, Lund University, Yale, University of Stuttgart and Cornell.

As part of their efforts to create a memorable stay for the University’s guests, the International Office instigated a number of initiatives including organising an induction at Unleash Space, the innovation hub and maker space run by the Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE). The induction included participation in a Creative Inspiration and Design workshop, a tour of the maker space and a talk about innovation and entrepreneurship from Peter Rachor of CIE’s Hynds Entrepreneurial Fellows programme.

Over a third of the students opted to return to Unleash Space for the Global Changemakers programme delivered by the International Office and facilitated by Alisa Lamont, co-founder and president of the Climate Action Network for International Educators (CANIE).

In the first day of the programme participants learned about the scale of the climate challenge, the carbon footprint of studying abroad and how to travel more sustainably. They also developed a personal climate action plan, assessing their carbon footprint using a carbon calculator, and shared ideas for climate action on campus.

In the second day, participants explored climate leadership and innovation, including concepts of changemaking, social innovation and social entrepreneurship. They also took part in a climate design challenge that included a pitch contest, with prizes awarded to the best three pitches.

Study Abroad Manager Sarah Sung says “In addition to the workshops, the students took part in a tree-planting volunteer activity at Motuihe Island and every student said that this was the best part of the programme. It is clear that students want more hands-on experiences moving away from lecture style workshops, and we will use the feedback to inform future iterations of the programme. We also received feedback that they would love to learn more about Mātauranga Māori perspectives and non-western sustainability solutions.”

Sung says “Given the topic of climate is getting critical, we aim to run the Generation Changemaker programme in both semester 1 and 2 each year – open to Study Abroad students no matter what they are studying. We’re thrilled that this cohort has so enthusiastically embraced the Generation Changemakers programme and that they will return home with the experience as part of their memory of New Zealand.”

University of Auckland wins international award for entrepreneurship education
University of Auckland wins international award for entrepreneurship education

17 August 2022

An innovative programme that merges sustainability education with an introduction to social entrepreneurship has been piloted with the latest influx of University of Auckland Study Abroad students.

As soon as the international borders opened, the University of Auckland was ready to welcome international students with open arms. In July a cohort of 102 students arrived in Auckland from the United States and Europe for a six month stay in New Zealand. The students are from a wide variety of study disciplines and while in New Zealand will take courses that can be credited towards their degree at home. Students came from more than 60 different universities including Harvard, Arts et Métiers Paris Tech, Lund University, Yale, University of Stuttgart and Cornell.

As part of their efforts to create a memorable stay for the University’s guests, the International Office instigated a number of initiatives including organising an induction at Unleash Space, the innovation hub and maker space run by the Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE). The induction included participation in a Creative Inspiration and Design workshop, a tour of the maker space and a talk about innovation and entrepreneurship from Peter Rachor of CIE’s Hynds Entrepreneurial Fellows programme.

Over a third of the students opted to return to Unleash Space for the Global Changemakers programme delivered by the International Office and facilitated by Alisa Lamont, co-founder and president of the Climate Action Network for International Educators (CANIE).

In the first day of the programme participants learned about the scale of the climate challenge, the carbon footprint of studying abroad and how to travel more sustainably. They also developed a personal climate action plan, assessing their carbon footprint using a carbon calculator, and shared ideas for climate action on campus.

In the second day, participants explored climate leadership and innovation, including concepts of changemaking, social innovation and social entrepreneurship. They also took part in a climate design challenge that included a pitch contest, with prizes awarded to the best three pitches.

Study Abroad Manager Sarah Sung says “In addition to the workshops, the students took part in a tree-planting volunteer activity at Motuihe Island and every student said that this was the best part of the programme. It is clear that students want more hands-on experiences moving away from lecture style workshops, and we will use the feedback to inform future iterations of the programme. We also received feedback that they would love to learn more about Mātauranga Māori perspectives and non-western sustainability solutions.”

Sung says “Given the topic of climate is getting critical, we aim to run the Generation Changemaker programme in both semester 1 and 2 each year – open to Study Abroad students no matter what they are studying. We’re thrilled that this cohort has so enthusiastically embraced the Generation Changemakers programme and that they will return home with the experience as part of their memory of New Zealand.”


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