Student interest grows in garden

International students (from left) Nathalie Jacquier, of France, Matthias Spall, of Germany, Jacob Van Soest and Roy Koppers, both of the Netherlands, are pleased to have the opportunity to complete a work placement at the Dunedin Botanic Garden. Photo by Craig Baxter.
International students (from left) Nathalie Jacquier, of France, Matthias Spall, of Germany, Jacob Van Soest and Roy Koppers, both of the Netherlands, are pleased to have the opportunity to complete a work placement at the Dunedin Botanic Garden. Photo by Craig Baxter.

There is increased demand for student placements at the Dunedin Botanic Garden, following last year's Global Botanic Garden Congress.

The botanic garden is hosting four international students and demand for placements is strong.

More students are expected later this year, collections supervisor Barbara Wheeler says.

The 5th Global Botanic Garden Congress was hosted by the Dunedin Botanic Garden last October and it had raised the garden's international profile.

More than 20 requests for placements were received for this year, she said.

It was an ''exciting time'' for the botanic garden, which also hosted two students from the UK last week, as it was unprecedented for it to host six students at one time.

''We had six students last year, but not all at one time, like this,'' Ms Wheeler said.

''Numbers are starting to build up and ... are increasing markedly, and that's great.''

Student Matthias Spall, of Germany, said he was undergoing a career change and it was interesting to spend time at a garden outside Europe.

''It's interesting to get different ideas and study different plants,'' he said.

The Dunedin Botanic Garden was ''one of the best in New Zealand'' and it was ''very nice'' to be working alongside staff at the garden, he said.

Another student, Jacob Van Soest, of the Netherlands, said it was ''a great opportunity'' to spend time working at the botanic garden and to see how it was managed.

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