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Being a foreigner can be an incredibly enriching experience that can shape the person you become in the future.
That’s according to Massey’s new Student Mobility manager (Student Exchange and Study Abroad) Greg Huff, who is focused on creating stronger relationships with overseas universities to give students the best opportunities possible.
“Twenty years ago, a sense of adventure and a desire to see more of the world were big motivators for students wanting to go abroad,” Mr Huff says. “While these are still factors, the increasingly global nature of economies around the world has meant that competition for jobs has increased dramatically. Having a degree is a huge advantage, but many employers are seeking applicants that stand out. Study Abroad and Student Exchange can be very beneficial by providing those kinds of additional skills and unique experiences.”
From running summer camps, working in a home for abused and neglected kids to international education at the Institute for Study Abroad, Butler University in Indiana, US, Mr Huff joined Massey to continue his work in helping students make the most of studying overseas.
His role, newly created as part of the International Office’s launch of its internalisation strategy, is to assist and support students wanting to study abroad and for overseas students wanting to study at Massey.
“It’s about helping them to see beyond what they’ve always known and removing roadblocks to participating. One of the main challenges is helping students to find ways to afford to study overseas.”
There are scholarships available for students who are looking at exchanges.
Born in America, Mr Huff studied for a Bachelor of Science in Recreation in 1991 at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo and then went on to complete a Masters of Science in Experiential Education in 2000 at Minnesota State University in Mankato.
Since joining Massey’s International Office at the Manawatū campus in September, he has begun creating relationships with overseas universities and looking at ways to make student exchanges more accessible for domestic students.
But student exchange and study abroad programmes aren’t just about the gains for students - there are also many great advantages for Massey.
“Diversity in ethnicity and thought enriches the classroom and social experience. International connections expand opportunities for research, increase Massey’s ability to creatively address critical issues faced by people in other areas of the world, and build on our reputation as an innovative university that is an engine of change.”
Uplifting his family to New Zealand has been an easy choice for Mr Huff who says his family loves hiking, camping, and swimming.
“We are excited about all the great parks and reserves we’ve been hearing about that are so close to Palmerston North. I can’t wait for my bike to arrive so I can start cycling to work again.”