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CSU engineering students take their skills to Nepal

CSU engineering students take their skills to Nepal

AS far as a first trip overseas goes, it's an exotic one.

Charles Sturt University first-year engineering student Chloe Attard is in Nepal until early next month on a study tour in which she will put her learning to the test.

She is one of six Bachelor of Technology/Masters in Engineering (Civil Systems) students from CSU Bathurst on a tour to the Himalayan country in which they will explore the architecture, design and engineering required to build a strong community, as well as seek to understand the effects of Nepal's 2015 earthquake.

"I'm excited and nervous," Ms Attard said before she left Australia on the weekend.

"It's my first overseas trip, so it's a bit daunting, but I'm excited to be able to go into a third-world country and help."

Engineering lecturer Andrea Goncher said CSU applied last year for a Federal Government scholarship program called the New Colombo Plan, which provides funding for students to undertake international study in the Indo-Pacific region.

Last year, CSU students travelled to Cambodia with the group Engineers Without Borders and this year, they have travelled to Nepal with Unbound (which works with universities on overseas educational programs).

"The Engineers Without Borders program and Unbound program focus on humanitarian engineering and global challenges and working with developing communities," Ms Goncher said.

Ms Goncher said students at CSU Bathurst do an engineering challenge in the first semester of their first year which is also focused on humanitarian engineering.

"Students are able to undertake that as part of their course work and apply the skills they obtain as part of this international study program."

While in Nepal, students will be involved in redesigning buildings using natural and locally sourced materials, including bamboo and rammed earth.

"Students will be able to talk to the community members, live with them and experience their day-to-day activities, so then the design solutions they develop, using theoretical knowledge as well as practical knowledge, are based on real people's input," Ms Goncher said.

The students will return to Australia on Friday, July 6.

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