Staff Spotlight: Anna Ekstrand

Team Leader Student Mobility


Anna is originally from Sweden and has spent time working and studying in several countries including USA, Germany, and Australia. She is passionate about Study Abroad as she herself has experienced how it can transform one’s life.

What is your favorite travel memory?

Impossible to pick just one! Snorkeling at Kicker Rock off the island of San Cristobal in the Galapagos was certainly something I will always remember. In fact, the Galapagos overall was an amazing experience. While in Ecuador, I also traveled deep into the Amazon rainforest to spend time at a biodiversity station. I took a whole day to get there so it was really remote, and I got to see some weird and wonderful (and rare) flora and fauna.

There are also so many amazing destinations within Australia, where my favorite place would have to be Lord Howe Island. Haven't heard of it? Do yourself a favor and look it up!

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

Having worked in the international education scene for over 15 years, it is easy to get a bit jaded. However, moving to Tasmania and taking on a new challenge at the University here has ignited my passion for all things Study Abroad – working to ensure that each and every student has the best experience possible. This goes for both students coming to UTAS as well as our students going overseas.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

I find that the best stories are the ones when students find love while studying overseas – who doesn't love a bit of romance?! I have lost track of how many of “my” returned students have married someone they met while they studied overseas, but that doesn't change my excitement when I hear about a new wedding in the pipeline.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

Oh, to be a student again! I would probably choose something within the sciences, which is what UTAS is famous for (and it also gets you out and about on many field trips). My choice would be either the Bachelor of Marine and Antarctic Science, or the Bachelor of Natural Environment and Wilderness Studies. Both programs are unique in their offerings and also epitomize what UTAS is all about – our location and our nature.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

University of Tasmania offers students a very authentic Australian experience, and quite a different one to what most other parts of Australia would offer. Our island home boasts some of the purest air and clearest skies in the world, and our unique nature has many species that is found nowhere else on Earth. To have that as your (outdoor) classroom is something very unique!

The Study Abroad team at the University of Tasmania is passionate about Study Abroad, as all team members have “been there, done that” and have experienced the transforming aspects ourselves. Add to that our diverse backgrounds, and you have the Dream Team!

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

You have to listen to your customers, and constantly strive to improve your product. Here at UTAS, we highly value the feedback of our students and try our very best to act on it. I will admit that implementing changes can sometimes be a bit of a challenge in a very bureaucratic university environment, so it is lucky I have a stubborn personality and don't give up easily!