21-year-old Sam Brosnahan from Timaru is a 3rd year BCom student at University of Canterbury, majoring in International Business. He's also the President of Global China Connection.

I like studying at UC because I love learning about business and how it relates to the world – and China in particular. UC allows me to do that.

I also love it here because of the unrivalled student club culture. It's easy to start up clubs here – sports, academics, music, social, special interest. But also, people get involved here. This culture at UC has really helped Global China Connection since it got started in 2013.

In Global China Connection, we get NZ students plugged into China-related opportunities. We learn about the culture there, about doing business with the Chinese market, and run free Mandarin lessons, student exchanges and internships.

This year we are running a brand new programme called the Shanghai Shout. It's an internship programme where students apply to win an all-expenses paid internship at NZ's second largest milk company, Westland Milk Products, in Shanghai for eight weeks! It's a free trip to China worth $8,000.

Last year I was fortunate enough to receive an all-expenses paid exchange to Shanghai with the Prime Minister’s Scholarship. I studied at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics for one semester, and it was life-changing, to say the least. I learnt so much, so fast. I got a hold of Chinese culture, which is so different to ours and I picked up the language to a conversational level. I also made friends from all around the world.

It's hard to describe in words so here's a the video of my time there.

 
 

I highly recommend not only an exchange to another country, but going somewhere other than Australia, UK or USA. Somewhere with a totally different culture to ours. You'll learn and gain so much, as I did in China.

Everyone is shaped by the world around them, and it's not until you learn, travel and experience other cultures that you realise the totally different ways people work, learn and do life. It fascinates me.

If you're interested in international business, learn the language, learn the culture and hang out with people from that culture. Being knowledgeable about and empathetic to other cultures and people groups not only will help you in a career path like mine, it'll open up so many doors in your life.

Life at University of Canterbury

The weirdest thing that happened to me in China was...
feeling demoralised when I found a talking parrot that had better Chinese than I did. It's an animal.

In five years I think I'll.....

be living in China, hopefully owing my own business and speaking fluent Mandarin.

The best thing about studying at the University of Canterbury is...
that I get to learn about business, finance and economics and how it applies on a global scale. Plus I get to learn about the world, languages and different cultures.

The hardest part is...
the maths.

For more info on studying Business and Law at University of Canterbury, click here.

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