Making the world your campus - Mitsui Study Tour (Issue 22, 2012)

Laura Curwood

Laura CurwoodMelbourne campus student Laura Curwood is well on her way to becoming a global citizen.

This month the final-year undergraduate student will travel to Japan on the coveted Mitsui Study Tour, funded by the global Mitsui company.

This follows her participation in the annual Australia-China Student Forum organised by the Centre for China Studies. The Forum is a two-week cultural exchange that took place last year at Peking University, one of the Centre’s key international partner institutions and a La Trobe University exchange partner.

‘The trip taught me a lot, especially about being a foreigner and being exposed to all different walks of life,’ says Laura.

‘It's really made me want to be open to living and working overseas.’

Laura, who is fluent in Japanese, was recently chosen out of 28 La Trobe applicants to join the 21-day Mitsui Study Tour of Japan, which includes visits to major industries such as the Sharp Corporation and Toyota Motor Company.

She will also stay with a family for three days, to gain a glimpse of everyday Japanese life, and visit tourist sites including Hiroshima and Tokyo city attractions.

Students from seven other Australian universities will make up the study group.

Laura says she is looking forward to embracing Japan and its cultural values, and seeing Japanese business practices and how they work in comparison to Australian businesses.

‘I really want to understand its economy and its market functions,’ says Laura.

Laura is completing a Bachelor of International Business, majoring in management and finance. Her goal is to work as a business analyst.

Beyond that, she says she would also like to learn to speak Mandarin.

In the meantime, graduation is looming, but one thing that Laura is especially grateful for is her spot on the study tour, which starts on 18 November.

‘Being in a family of five children, I never had the opportunity to go on such a trip, so I've been waiting for an opportunity like this for a very long time.’

The Mitsui Study Tour is one of many international short programs offered by La Trobe Abroad based at the Global Lounge, Melbourne campus.