Award to study abroad
Health and physical education student Meg Schermbrucker has won a 360 International Exchange Award to help fund studying in Sweden for a semester as part of her undergraduate degree.
“Next semester I will be going on exchange to Linnaeus University in Växjö, Sweden. I have been lucky enough to receive a 360 International Exchange Award to assist financially with travel expenses. I am extremely excited about this opportunity. I am eager to learn new perspectives on health and physical education, and am hopeful that this experience will develop me into a better teacher.
“My family emigrated to New Zealand when I was really young. They left South Africa by boat, and I was born part way through their journey in Trinidad and Tobago. My favourite things to do growing up were outdoor activities – windsurfing, mountain biking, hiking etcetera. Because of my love for adventure and being active, I knew a standard office job was not right for me. So straight out of high school I made the call to study towards becoming a health and physical education teacher.
“What set this degree apart for me was that it really promotes the idea that health is much broader than physical factors alone. Instead, it focuses on a more holistic understanding, and offers courses related to mental health, socio-cultural influences and cultural perspectives on wellbeing. The skills I take away from this degree will be more than just academic. The structure of courses has allowed my classmates and me to develop as leaders, critical thinkers and advocates for marginalised groups.
It can be daunting leaving your comfort zone, but it’s definitely worth it. Extending yourself, becoming independent and learning new things that will help your future, it’s a win, win.
“I’m really excited about the exchange opportunity. I like to travel. I went to Tanzania for one of my practicums. It was really awesome. One day I think I would like to teach internationally, so I’m looking forward to learning as much as I can to prepare me for that. Everything I’ve heard about education in Sweden has been very positive. I’ve heard they have some cool outdoor education programmes.
“It can be daunting leaving your comfort zone, but it’s definitely worth it. Extending yourself, becoming independent and learning new things that will help your future, it’s a win, win.
“My plans for the immediate future are to try and get a job as a health and physical educator, potentially spending a few years teaching overseas. I am definitely open to the idea of postgraduate study, and will look into this further when I have settled on the specific field of research right for me.”
Meg and two of her fellow students will be studying at Linnaeus University earning credits towards the final year of their Bachelor of Physical Education (now the Bachelor of Sport, Health and Physical Education) under the 360 International programme.