Thousands of university students are expanding their education horizons in foreign countries thanks to a Commonwealth scholarship program.
With O’Week kicking off on campuses this week, Member for Fairfax Ted O’Brien is urging undergraduates to consider the Federal Government’s New Colombo Plan.
The scholarship enables students to study and intern in the Indo-Pacific to deepen Australia’s relationships and understanding of the region.
Students can stay for up to a year in countries spanning between Pakistan in the west, to Mongolia in the north and the Cook Islands in the south.
“The program aims to lift our country’s knowledge of the Indo-Pacific through our young people who will be the workers of the future,” said Mr O’Brien.
“Many countries on our doorstep will be the economic engines of the future and the New Colombo Plan ensures Australia continues building strong relationships with these important neighbours.”
Mr O’Brien visited the University of the Sunshine Coast campus this week where New Colombo Plan Alumni Ambassador Caleb Mattiske is promoting the scholarship program as part of O’Week activities.
Mr O’Brien also congratulated Fairfax resident and USC Law and Commerce student Michael Jefferies who is a 2018 scholarship recipient heading to Singapore later this year.
Michael is in his final year and, after undertaking a summer holiday internship at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Sydney, is looking forward to some international flavour.
Michael will spend second semester completing his university studies in Singapore, taking advanced electives in commercial law, including mergers and acquisitions and international finance law. He will stay on in Singapore for a further six-month working internship. While abroad Michael also plans to learn Mandarin.
“I chose Singapore because it is exotic enough to be international and different but familiar enough that you feel kind of at home,” said Michael.
“I think Singapore is likely to be central to my career in coming decades because it is politically and democratically stable, it’s open to the East and West and a common place for business to come together and do transactions.
“From a legal perspective, Singapore is the gateway to Asia.”
Since the New Colombo Plan was launched in 2014, a total of 30,000 Australian undergraduates have lived, worked and studied overseas.
The program covers university tuition, language courses and some living and travel expenses.
To learn more visit www.dfat.gov.au