“The interpersonal skills I have developed during my year abroad will always be useful to me in whatever career I pursue. Being able to communicate with a wide range of people is a highly desirable, transferable skill that many employers are looking for.”

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Alex Hennessy - University of Otago, New Zealand

BSc Accounting and Finance with International Study

Alex wanted the chance to travel and experience a new environment, which he was able to do by spending his third year in New Zealand through the Study Abroad programme.

“The University of Exeter Business School has an excellent reputation not only in the UK but also abroad. The teaching here is fantastic and the lecturers are so passionate about their studies, which really motivates me to work hard and do well.

I chose the study abroad option because I wanted to take myself out of my comfort zone and experience a new way of living, learning and developing. I also felt that I hadn’t had enough adventure yet so I thought this would be an excellent way of achieving this.

I applied to the University of Otago in New Zealand as it offered me great flexibility in my studies. I also liked the fact that Otago is recognised as New Zealand’s oldest university and, like Exeter, is research-led, which is an approach to learning that I enjoy.

My experiences abroad allowed me to gain many skills. I have learnt how to adapt to completely new situations. In my first flat, I was living with Kiwi, Danish, Brazilian and American housemates, which taught me how to live with a diverse range of people and different cultures. This also enabled me to build upon my communication skills, allowing them to flourish in an international context. I now have much more confidence speaking in front of people I do not know as a result of my year abroad. I’m sure all of these skills will help me greatly in my final year.

The best thing about studying abroad was being able to do all the things I love, such as skiing, surfing, cricket and rugby, whenever I wanted to. The scenery in New Zealand is absolutely breath-taking. Every time you go on a road trip, you are greeted by an amazing view that you could just stare at for hours. There was one particular day where my girlfriend and I went skydiving in the morning and white-water rafting in the afternoon, followed by a fantastic dinner by the side of Lake Taupo; that was probably the best day of the year.

After I graduate, I am planning to work in equities research or as an analyst at a hedge fund in London with a view to study towards my CFA. The interpersonal skills I have developed during my year abroad will always be useful to me in whatever career I pursue. Being able to communicate with a wide range of people is a highly desirable, transferable skill that many employers are looking for.”