Only Kiwi at Austrian summer academy

Otago Polytechnic electrical engineering technology student Hanri de Bruin contemplates her Austrian study course. Photo: Otago Polytechnic
Otago Polytechnic electrical engineering technology student Hanri de Bruin contemplates her Austrian study course. Photo: Otago Polytechnic
Otago Polytechnic student Hanri de Bruin is the only New Zealander in a group of 20 young women from around the world attending an intensive two and a-half week programme at the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria.

Ms de Bruin (21) left Auckland yesterday to join the group at the university's Wels campus, near Linz, for an international summer academy in engineering for women.

It is the fifth time the Austrian university has offered the opportunity for high school, college or undergraduate women students to experience top-class and challenging university-level course work.

The course combines sophisticated theory with hands-on practical experience in engineering, informatics and natural sciences.

In addition to the general programme, each participant can choose a three-day specialised module in natural sciences, engineering and technology or computer science and informatics.

Ms de Bruin, a second-year Otago Polytechnic bachelor of engineering technology (electrical) student, described being able to attend the academy as a ''once in a lifetime'' opportunity.

A lecturer suggested she apply. And she was grateful for financial help from the polytechnic's Education Foundation. On-campus accommodation at Wels was being provided free of charge.

South African-born Ms de Bruin, in New Zealand since the age of 3, is the only woman studying electrical engineering at Otago Polytechnic.

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