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The New Zealand Perspective Video Transcript

Kia ora [hello]. My name's Jessica Dibben. I've been studying towards a diploma in the Arts with a major of "Defense Studies" at Massey University. At the beginning of this year, 2020, I got the opportunity to take part in a virtual class with the University of Northern Georgia.

I wanted to take part in this initiative, to see how defense and security was taught in the US. In our globalized world, I think what the US does is important to New Zealand. They're our allies. And the paper I'd done was "Comparative Security Issues." And overall it was a great experience to be able to discuss global issues with people from a different background.

The teaching method was, different from Massey. Topics were taught and assessed weekly. Exams were proctored online. And there was an opportunity every week to discuss topics with other students. In fact, these discussions were expected. This was quite challenging to start with for me. I mean the confidence to discuss security issues with US students. But they were all really great and were supportive. And at the end we were having some really interesting conversations together, tying together what we'd learned and what it meant to me coming from New Zealand and them from the US. These discussions were probably the highlight of my experience. They ended up feeling like a safe place to discuss security theories and issues and sometimes even disagree with them. The professor always offered feedback on what was discussed, which I found invaluable. I think with defense and security you've gotta ask whether you want to say anything. This often in an environment of learning, that also an environment that made you discuss your own thoughts - a safe place to experience saying something.

I took an abundance of information from this experience. I really had no idea that so many different theories had been developed from the origins of war and security and conflict, and that many of them contradicted each other. Security is such a broad, deep topic. Being given this understanding, for me, has given me the confidence to arrange my own thoughts and feelings around defense and security.

I think for any Massey students thinking about taking part in this exchange program - go for it.

You won't be disappointed.

Massey University Course Partnership Student Testimonials

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