Student engagement process
Completing a RARE project provides not only a unique learning experience but also six credit points towards your degree. Each project requires specific skill sets, cultural sensitivities and levels of engagement. The program is open to all adventurous, resourceful self-starters enrolled in postgraduate studies at the University of Sydney Business School.
To apply, you'll need to submit an application form, along with a copy of your academic transcript and your resume. Participants are selected on the basis of strong academic results, relevant past experience and demonstrated understanding of and appreciation for community development and entrepreneurship. If selected, participants can also elect to enrol in a unit of study designed around the RARE project. Further details and the application form are below.
Projects can be completed during either semester, or over the summer and winter semester breaks as a six-week intensive unit. If completed during semester you will be required to travel during your semester breaks.
What to expect
A RARE Experience offers the unique opportunity to visit a remote and rural community (whether indigenous or not) and work collaboratively with a local enterprise to develop their vision. You will investigate, develop and implement sustainable business practices, adapted to the community's local socio-cultural and market needs. The experience will provide a two-way learning exchange in a rich community environment, whereby your 'world view' and societal assumptions will be challenged and enriched, and your class-room learning and skills will be put to the test.
The placements will be between 7 to 14 days, and for some projects you will have the opportunity to visit your remote and rural enterprise community twice. There are a variety of RARE projects each requiring different skills sets, and commitment levels, and where applicable you will be working with students from other disciplines. The facilities and accommodation will vary across project, from swags and tents, to budget hotels.
Activities and involvement
Prior to the placement
Participate in cultural awareness preparation (if visiting an indigenous community), which will include a reading pack covering indigenous history and culture, podcasts, and films.
Attend a briefing session with the RARE coordinator and past RARE students to discuss your expectations, plan the research objectives, run through the travel logistics, and ask any questions. You will also be required to complete some forms regarding conditions of participation, and insurance.
Conduct background research on the community and the enterprise.
Liaise with the identified contacts in the community to arrange meetings, activities, visits and generally prepare for your visit.
Plan your research approach and questions, and be clear on your objectives. Identify key areas that need addressing once on your placement and the possible sources of this information.
While in the remote and rural community
Consult and interact with the local people, and participate in their daily activities when invited.
Be culturally sensitive, patient and prepared to learn through attentive listening and watching.
Reflect on your experiences, both as a group and individually, through group discussions, and journal keeping.
Engage in your action-research project, and be prepared to talk to as many people as possible both formally and informally, and be creative in your methods and thinking.
At the conclusion of the placement
Once back in Sydney, brief the next RARE Experience cohort and be an ambassador for the program.
Provide feedback to the program organisers via a debriefing session and feedback questionnaire regarding:
Finalise and complete the agreed project output to a high standard, and be willing to answer any questions the remote and rural entrepreneurs might pose.
Eligible students must be currently enrolled and can be either an undergraduate or postgraduate, and either local or international.
Consideration will be given to a student's:
- Extra curricula activities
- Academic performance
- Cultural awareness and worldly experiences
- Reasons for wanting to take part
- Entrepreneurial spirit and enthusiasm
The application process requires students to submit:
- Application form
- Academic Transcript
Please email these three items to Jacqui Gilligan, with the email subject "RARE Experience Application".