Exchange with Chile offers opportunities

Press Release – Tai Poutini Polytechnic

A new relationship between Tai Poutini Polytechnic and a Chilean outdoor education provider will see students travel to Chile and Antarctica every year and could lead to TPP hosting international MBA students on the West Coast.

Media release – 30 January 2012
Exchange with Chile offers opportunities
A new relationship between Tai Poutini Polytechnic and a Chilean outdoor education provider will see students travel to Chile and Antarctica every year and could lead to TPP hosting international MBA students on the West Coast.

Head of TPP’s Outdoor Education Department, Dave Ritchie, and recent graduate Mike Perry have recently returned from a three-week exchange to Santiago and Antarctica’s King George Island. A reciprocal agreement between TPP and Chile’s Instituto Vertical will see an Outdoor Education or Ecotourism student travel to Chile each year and two Chilean’s spending time on the West Coast.

20 year-old Mike Perry says it was an amazing experience to travel to King George Island to assist Instituto Vertical guides run an outdoor leadership programme for American MBA students. The island is located about 120ks off Antarctica’s coast and about 90 per cent is covered by glaciers.

“I have never seen so many penguins in my life, it was so cool. It was an old school adventure, we flew in and then spent a week walking around with packs on our backs, we slept in tents every night, it was great. We learnt things but I think the Chileans and Americans learnt from us too,” he says.

It was the best time of my life, I know it sounds clichéd but it’s true. It was a wonderful opportunity and I wasn’t ready to leave, I was hoping the weather would pack in and we would be stuck there for another couple of days.”

Instituto Vertical was established by Chilean adventurer Rodrigo Jordon in the 1980s after he successfully summited Mt Everest. As well as providing corporate training, it mentors children from Santiago and runs business leadership programmes for the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School.

“The Wharton Business School’s MBA programme is one of the most prestigious in the world. It is great to see Instituto Vertical using the outdoors to teach business leadership training based around personal leadership and team building,” says TPP’s Head of the Outdoor Education Department Dave Ritchie.

“They saw the value in teaming up with TPP as they want to be able to train better guides and instructors. Outdoor instruction is part of New Zealand’s history and we are very good at it, I believe the Chileans can learn a lot from us,” he says.

Mr Ritchie says it was also valuable to see how the MBA programme was run and he sees opportunities for TPP to offer similar leadership training on the West Coast.

Local MP Damien O’Connor says the West Coast would provide an ideal classroom for international MBA students.

“It is really important that we realise the expertise and potential we have on the West Coast and go out and capitalise on that. This sounds like an excellent opportunity for the polytechnic and the region,” he says.

In February two representatives from Instituto Vertical will spend three weeks on the West Coast to observe how TPP’s outdoor education and ecotourism programmes operate. As part of the reciprocal agreement a stand-out TPP student will be given the opportunity to travel to Chile in early 2013.
ENDS

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
Original url