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Exchanges add to UC degree for Stella

Vanessa Lam

28 September 2016: Stella Ruan has graduated with a Bachelor of Human Nutrition from the University of Canberra while collecting some extra stamps in her passport, after going on three international exchanges as part of her degree.

The 23-year-old said she was thrilled to graduate from the University of Canberra.

“Everything about the degree was enjoyable from the way the units were delivered and structured to getting the chance to embark on international study units,” she said.

“I don’t think I would have had the same experiences if I went to a different university.”

Ms Ruan completed her first semester abroad at the University of Guelph in Canada in 2015. Having caught the travel bug she went to Shanghai, China the same year for a faculty-led program studying sports in the Asian century.  

“I went on my first exchange because I wanted to try something new. I usually feel vulnerable and nervous in new environments especially if there isn't any familiarity but I thought going on exchange was a way for me to expand those boundaries,” she said.

Ms Ruan’s third exchange saw her travel to Samoa in June this year for a two-week placement.  She described this trip as the standout as she got to work with Samoan health organisations to develop nutritional resources for the local community.

“Each international experience was different from the last. Although we were only in Samoa for two weeks, it was a very hands-on experience and I felt like I was really able to get immersed in the culture and learnt a lot during that time,” she said.

Ms Ruan encouraged other students who were thinking about undertaking an exchange to “just do it”.

“Don't hesitate – it’s an opportunity that doesn’t always come around. To be able to travel and visit new places while you complete your degree is amazing. It’s a life changing experience to learn about new cultures and meet new people along the way.”

Read about more of our recent graduates:

Dame Quentin delighted by UC award

Politics inspires PhD for 3MT winner

Stephen graduates with double degree

Angela’s aim to improve young lives leads to PhD