Creating an outstanding student experience: the Otago recipe for success


The study abroad experience is much more than what happens in the classroom. The elements of success come from providing academic excellence, but also an outstanding student experience. This session will discuss the journey taken by international students studying abroad at the University of Otago. Unique housing arrangements, student support services, volunteer opportunities, recreational services and access to resources are all key ingredients in the recipe for a positive student experience. In addition to highlighting how these functions work to support international student integration and involvement on campus, this session will also highlight other student-led initiatives such as the Silverline project, a pilot to challenge how we all engage with mental health and wellbeing. This initiative has recently received funding from the New Zealand Ministry of Education, which will assist with wellbeing resources specific to the international student experience, experiential wellbeing excursions and a festival.

Learning objectives

Participants will learn:

*best practices to enable and enhance international student experience

*opportunities to assist the international student community with immersion in the local lifestyle and culture

*how functions and resources on campus can work together to help maximise opportunities for international students

*how local student-led initiatives can add value to the student experience for international students.

Lauren Hall, University of Otago; Victoria McEniery, University of Otago

Regional Market Manager (Americas)

University of Otago

Lauren Hall is the Regional Market Manager (Americas) in the International Office at the University of Otago. In this role, Lauren works closely with Otago’s education agents, government and non-government agencies, and institutional partners to support the international marketing, recruitment and business development objectives of the university. Lauren is a graduate of the University of Otago and holds a Bachelor of Commerce with a double major in Marketing and Finance. Before joining the team in the International Office, Lauren held a variety of roles across the Otago campus and has also worked at The University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. She has also worked in the financial services industry.