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Miss Lambie (23), of Dunedin, will leave for the annual event in Seoul next week.
She was contacted by pageant organisers after being named second runner-up in the Miss Universe New Zealand contest last year.
She sent organisers a CV, photographs and information about her tertiary studies. Then last month she was told she had been selected to represent New Zealand.
The pageant was initially to be held late last year, but was postponed because of typhoons in the Philippines, Miss Lambie said.
The former Columba College pupil had already completed a bachelor of medical sciences degree with honours at Otago, and last year graduated with a masters in entrepreneurship.
She had another two years of medical study, but did not yet know in which field of medicine she would like to work.
''I really enjoy studying and learning, and hope I find something I really want to do as I discover more options,'' she said.
Miss Lambie expected to do some volunteer work and participate in charity fashion shows as part of the pageant.
She also hoped to attend a women's leadership forum while in Korea, before returning to New Zealand at the end of the month.
World Miss University was organised by the International Association of University Presidents in 1986.
The international pageant had an average of about 40 contestants each year and was last won in 2012 by Mia Hasanagic, of Denmark.
The only New Zealander to win the title was Jade Collins in 2005.