Charging the batteries
Michael Ryan was invigorated by a semester studying in Finland - and the opportunity it afforded for more travel.
I signed up with no experience travelling anywhere apart from Australia but on my exchange I was able to meet so many new friends.
Michael Ryan was always envious of students who got to Study Abroad.
So, when the opportunity arose for him to complete a semester overseas as part of his Bachelor of Engineering Technology (Civil) studies, he immediately signed up.
Michael chose to study in Finland on a winter school exchange at Lappeenranta University of Technology, located four hours north of Helsinki.
“The university was fantastic, with a cafeteria where all students can eat together throughout the day, plus two gyms, indoor sporting courts, a sauna and even an underground night club," he says. "The campus has a really green approach, too, and uses renewable energy.”
While studying, Michael shared an apartment with a Russian student who was undertaking a Doctorate in Mechanics. Each night, they would share stories from their home countries.
“He has become one of my best friends and we still keep in touch often via social media,” says Michael.
During his exchange, Michael was presented with opportunities to travel around Europe, and also to Asia and South America which he grabbed with both hands.
“Having this chance given to me by Otago Polytechnic has been unbelievable and helped me grow in confidence, character and culture," he says. "To anyone thinking about participating in an exchange, I would say just grab it by two hands and run with it. You will have an amazing time.”
Become an engineering technologist! Learn engineering theory and the applied and practical skills required to work in a wide range of industries, and gain a deep understanding of your area of specialisation through an industry-based project. Mechanical, Civil and Electrical specialties available. If you have existing skills and knowledge due to practical experience in this area, you could study this programme via distance through Capable NZ (our recognition of prior learning centre). You may have already gained credits towards this qualification.