Celebrating the success of InCountry Study 2017
In 2017, over 200 UTS students spent the year studying abroad as part of their Bachelor of Arts in International Studies. Last Friday, the FASS School of International Studies hosted an event to officially welcome these students home.
To help celebrate, the School of International Studies welcomed a number of government officials based in Sydney, including the Consul Generals of Argentina, Switzerland and Spain and the Deputy and Vice Consuls of Japan and Colombia, respectively. The School of International Studies also welcomed guests from the Italian Cultural Institute and the Hokkaido University of Education, Hakodate.
FASS School of International Studies has for almost 25 years placed year-abroad students in partner universities in 14 countries. The Bachelor of Arts in International Studies prides itself on providing students with the language and cultural skills required to become global citizens. Many graduates have gone on to achieve successful careers in law, journalism, engineering and healthcare, to mention a few. Professor Mary Spongberg, Dean of Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, affirmed the value of the degree in her speech on Friday evening, saying, “In FASS we’re committed to producing worldly and self-confident graduates, and you here tonight are evidence of that.”
At the event, five students shared with the audience their experience studying abroad for 12 months. Emily Contador-Kelsall (France), Vy Hoang (Quebec, Canada), Yuvashri Harish (Switzerland), Ryan Noble (Chile) and Sarah Yahya (Colombia) spoke of the highlights, challenges and enduring lessons that can only be learnt through a true cultural immersion.
To start living in Colombia, I had to force myself to step out of my comfort zone and most importantly, get past the superficial approach to a new country. I was not a tourist. I had to learn and experience the process of adapting to a new cultural environment. It wasn’t a smooth sailing experience, I stumbled…a lot. But the adventures and the experiences shaped me to be more adaptable, resilient, independent, and conscious of my behaviour and attitudes.
Sarah Yahya (Colombia)
The UTS BAIS program is quite unique, because instead of sending students to study abroad for a year under the total guidance of the partner institution, our lecturers remain in contact with each student with the purpose of supervising the student’s research project over the span of the year. For many students, the research project is an opportunity to conduct first-hand research on topics they are truly passionate about.
My final research project looked at how female sexuality empowered young women in Lyon, and how it could be used as a source of equality. Now I can happily have discussions around feminism and sexuality with the confidence of first hand evidence and experience under my belt. Without ICS or the guidance of my country and subject coordinator, I would have never gotten this opportunity, which has helped me to clarify my career path and passions.
Emily Contador-Kelsall (France)
A common theme throughout all of the speeches was the importance of having a resilience, sense of adventure and a willingness to embrace every experience that UTS InCountry Study offers.
We thank the School of International Studies for organising the event and for providing such exceptional support to our students while abroad.