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Aus: World Class contest winners announced

Rehabilitating brain injury patients during a physiotherapy placement in Cambodia, living in “a tiny shoebox near Montmartre” and visiting a dog café in Korea – these were some of the experiences showcased in the submissions to the World Class Show & Tell short video competition that aimed to promote study abroad to students in Australia.

University student category winner Alexei Ymer-Welsby raps about his year abroad in France.

“Because of my exchange, I’m a world citizen. It’s given me an edge over other graduates"

The entries, which have been published online, aim to target Australian students considering study abroad, as part of the federal government’s World Class strategy to promote outbound student mobility.

Alexei Ymer-Welsby from the University of Melbourne won the university student category for a rap about his year abroad at Sciences Po in Paris, “a whirlwind of experiences” that included studying, eating chocolate eclairs and travelling Europe.

And in the alumni category, winner Ruth Harrison, who studied at Western Sydey University, reflected on her time spent at Kansai Gaidai university in Osaka.

“Because of my exchange, I’m a world citizen,” she says in the video. “It’s given me an edge over other graduates, it’s opened doors for me; I don’t see borders as something that should stop me.”

Both winners received a A$10,000 STA Travel voucher, jointly funded by the student-specialist travel company and the Department of Education and Training. Four runners up also received a A$2,500 voucher.

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The awards are presented in Melbourne

The awards were presented at a dinner hosted by Universities Australia in Melbourne. Presenting the awards, outgoing international policy director Ainslie Moore said the judges had been overwhelmed by the quality of submissions and that seeing the videos online will enable students to better understand what study abroad is like.

“As we know, no matter how hard we try to convince students about the benefits of study abroad, they are far more likely to listen to their peers than to [university staff],” she said.

Universities Australia CEO Belinda Robinson echoed that the competition has successfully highlighted the life-changing nature of study abroad.

“Over the last decade there’s been significant growth in the number of Australian students studying abroad as part of their degrees,” she commented.

“This is a really important trend for the students personally – many of whom will forge lifelong professional networks and friendships with classmates in other parts of the world as a precursor to building truly global careers – and for Australia’s relationships with the world.”

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