Life-changing experience for students

aeroplane-standardMs Kelly and fellow student, Annie Martin have recently returned from a 15-day tour of Indonesia, along with School of Business students from La Trobe’s Melbourne, Mildura, Albury-Wodonga and Shepparton campuses.

‘The trip has completely changed the way I look at even the smallest things in life. You can view things on television and study the culture throughout school but when you get there the reality is so much more confronting than you could have ever imagined’ said Ms Kelly.

‘It was a once in a lifetime opportunity that has really helped shape what I want to do with my life after university in terms of my career and where I want to go’ said Ms Kelly.

During visits to Jakarta, Yogyakarta and Bali, students visited local universities, the Bank of Indonesia, Taman Safari Park, a tea plantation, a milk factory and a tea factory.

Associate Lecturer in Marketing and trip coordinator, Philip Trebilcock said the visit to Indonesia forms the basis for the business students’ final assessment.

‘We live in a global economy and it’s important that our students gain a first-hand understanding of international business practices, particularly those of our Asian neighbours,’ said Mr Trebilcock.

‘The best way to learn about Asian countries is through personal experience of living there and engaging with the local people as well as local businesses.

‘Something that we cannot get from studying in class is dealing with people from other countries, immersing ourselves in their culture and working with them in a business project,’ said Mr Trebilcock.

Bachelor of Accounting student, Ms Martin said that she learned a lot about cultural and business practice differences between Australia and Indonesia while enjoying the company of students from La Trobe University’s various campuses.

‘Meeting students of different ages from other campuses was awesome. They were all great people and it was like a small family because we were travelling everywhere together,’ said Ms Martin.

‘By the end of the trip, we were all really good friends and have kept in touch. It was a bit weird when I got back because it seemed so quiet after being with a group of about 20 people for 15 days.’

Academically, each student is required to attend a preparatory workshop, write a daily journal and a business plan and give a presentation of that plan. The trip enables students to think of themselves as global citizens and encourages an open mind-set.

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