Canterbury students granted US internships
Pair embark on 'life-changing' experience
Two Canterbury law students are heading to the hub of American politics on internships.
Seamus Woods and Rachael Harris will become law interns on Capitol Hill, in Washington DC, next month.
The internship programme, to foster greater understanding of the American legislative system, was announced at the New Zealand Embassy in Washington DC on February 22 2012, the one-year anniversary of the 2011 earthquake in Christchurch.
The internship, jointly funded by the University of Canterbury and the Washington based United States-New Zealand Council, aims to expose the interns to the US political system.
A number of council members were in Christchurch during the February 22 2011 earthquake and the University of Canterbury was selected to inaugurate the new internship programme because the council had been involved in collecting charitable donations for the rebuilding of Christchurch.
To date, the council's American Friends of Christchurch project has been the vehicle for more than $US5 million in donations and $US2.7 million in pledges to Christchurch.
President of the United States - New Zealand Council William Maroni said the US and New Zealand could learn from each other by offering students the opportunity to experience first-hand the American legislative process.
UC's acting Dean and Head of Law Dr Chris Gallavin said law students from UC had played a pivotal role in the recovery of Christchurch.
''The bonds of the Christchurch and US relationship have been strengthened immeasurably by the generosity of our US friends and it is a bond that will grow from strength to strength in many different forms.''
Gallavin said the experience for Woods and Harris would be a life changing one.
''To work in the US Congress immediately after a presidential election is simply life changing. I doubt that these students, undoubtedly amongst the top one per cent of law students in the country will come back to New Zealand unchanged. The opportunity is so amazing I am actually jealous.''
Woods and Harris will fly to Washington DC in the middle of next month and return in late January.
They will present a paper on their experiences in late February 2013.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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