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Stanford experience an “entirely new world” for Curtin students

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Twelve high-achieving Curtin students have returned from an eight-week exchange program to California’s iconic Stanford University, describing the experience as life-changing.

Girl standing in front of Stanford's Memorial Church
Marketing and Advertising student Mary Bocarro

Stanford is renowned for its entrepreneurial spirit and key role in the establishment of nearby Silicon Valley. Its International Honors Program gives students an unparalleled insight into what life in the tech mecca is all about.

Program participants study eight academic units and take part in extra-curricular activities exploring the rich cultural, social and geographical aspects of the San Francisco bay area.

Six of the 12 Curtin students took part in the highly competitive Silicon Valley Innovation Academy, where they were tasked with developing, exploring and communicating a ‘world-changing’ innovation opportunity.

Group of students posing in Stanford tee-shirts on campus

The Curtin cohort, LR: Lance Villanueva, Sherine Ayub, Robert McTaggart, Mary Bocarro, Luke Pirozzi, Wydren Png, Amberly Kilmartin, Cassie Araujo, Christian Bien, Kate Jumeaux, Kristie O’Connor, Ian Foo.

During the program, the students got to meet some of the heavyweights of the Californian innovation scene.

“We got to meet some amazing people: the co-founder of Tesla, one of the first employees at Google, the only female on the board of the Bank of Poland and the designer of the genius bar at Apple,” says Marketing and Advertising student Mary Bocarro.

“The program really changes you professionally and personally by exposing you to an entirely different world and providing you with different ways of thinking.”

Girl sitting at lookout at Yosemite

Students are encouraged to embrace more than just academic life during their time in California.

Stanford is well known as a university that values the holistic development of students – not just their academic development. Students were encouraged to find their own niche.

“For me, I was able to pursue and develop two of my passions – volunteering and rock climbing. These activities really helped me embrace, and be embraced by, the Stanford community,” says Finance student Sherine Ayub.

Curtin is one of 30 universities worldwide to partner with Stanford, which allows current students and recent graduates from the Faculty of Business and Law to apply for the programs.

Professor Nigel de Bussy, Pro-Vice Chancellor of the Faculty of Business and Law, says international exchange programs like these are invaluable for preparing students for successful careers.

“Some of the world’s leading innovators and entrepreneurs, including the creators of Google, Snapchat and LinkedIn, have walked the halls of Stanford University. This opportunity will provide students with a life-changing opportunity to collaborate with future leaders and innovators from around the world.

“Being able to partner with universities around the world offers a great opportunity for Curtin students to learn in different cultures and environments, further maximising their potential and expanding their knowledge and skillset,” he says.

Learn more about the program

The International Honors Program is a collaboration between Stanford Summer Session and specific international teaching and research institutions. All students are endorsed through a selective admissions process, initiated at their home institution.

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