Beijing trip 'incredible'

A six-week work experience trip to Beijing will give six Otago Polytechnic students the chance to experience another culture, the polytechnic's bachelor of applied science programme manager, Megan Gibbons, says.

The students, due to depart today, will work at the inaugural 2012 Beijing International Triathlon on September 16. New Zealanders Bevan Docherty and Nicky Samuels will race.

The students will undertake 40-hours' work experience a week at the official triathlon hotel, helping run the fitness centre, liaising with the triathletes and helping hotel staff with their English. In return, they will stay and eat at the hotel free and receive a small allowance.

Ms Gibbons said the students were very excited about the trip.

"It gives them a chance to experience another culture and be a part of a huge international sporting event. All the while, they will be building up credit towards the work-experience components of their programmes." Student Russell Anderson said it was going to be an "incredible" experience.

"I can't wait to meet all the athletes and work with them at the hotel. Staying at the same five-star resort as them isn't too bad, either," he joked.

The students paid for their own air fares to Beijing, at a cost of about $2500 each.