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Frequently asked questions

What are New Colombo Plan internships and mentorships

How will my organisation benefit from offering internships and mentorships?

Doing business in the fastest growing region in the world means developing teams with the capability to work in the Indo-Pacific region has become a strategic business issue. Building a team capable of operating in Asia is essential to identify and enter new markets; better manage culturally diverse teams, and achieve outcomes in foreign business environments.

The Australian Government's signature initiative, the New Colombo Plan (NCP), seeks to address this issue by boosting the number of Australian undergraduate students who live, study and work in the Indo-Pacific. By doing so, they build Australia's ability to do business in our region.

By the end of 2020, the New Colombo Plan alumni will have grown to around 40,000 young Australians with experience of living, studying and undertaking work experience in the Indo-Pacific.

The Australian Government is encouraging businesses to become a part of the NCP. By offering internships and mentorships overseas, businesses benefit by harnessing the skills of talented young Australians for specific projects; accessing graduates and their networks who may be valuable future employees; developing graduates with the skills and experience Australia needs to do business internationally and enhancing the business's brand by joining the future of Australia's engagement with our neighbours. See some of our activities on Twitter @NewColomboPlan.

How much will it cost my organisation to host interns? Are interns paid by the host organisation?

NCP Scholars, who undertake individual internships, are fully funded and businesses do not have to remunerate students.

NCP Scholars are provided with: a travel and establishment allowance; accommodation; a monthly stipend; in-country language training and tuition fees; health and travel insurance and some are also awarded additional funding to purchase study or learning materials.

NCP Mobility Program students are funded by their universities, which receive grants under the Government's NCP Mobility Program.

What does an internship or mentorship look like?

An internship is a professional work experience in which a student pursues international learning goals relevant to their academic qualification and professional development. Internships offer students the chance to test their skills in real-life situations, gain an insight into an organisation and career path, and build professional networks. Internships can include clinical placements or practicums. Internships may be undertaken on a part-time basis concurrent with study at a Host Institution and/or on a full-time basis (for a maximum of six months) prior or subsequent to study at a Host Institution.

A mentorship is a personal development relationship where a business professional or academic helps guide a student in her or his study or work to support learning and professional growth. Mentorships may only be undertaken on a part-time basis concurrent with full-time study.

The New Colombo Plan Secretariat is happy to assist in developing internship opportunities and can be contacted at:

Who will organise the internship?

Arrangements for study, internships and mentorships are settled directly between universities, their students and host organisations.

Universities and their students are responsible for confirming the suitability of a registered organisation/opportunity.

Logistical details such as accommodation and in-country support to NCP Scholarship awardees is provided by the Australian Government's contracted support services organisation, Scope Global.

Under the NCP Mobility Program, Australian universities liaise with their students and potential host organisations to ensure a suitable learning proposal and other arrangements are in place, in line with their own specific requirements (for example, insurance).

NCP Mobility program student safety and welfare rests with their Australian universities, which is responsible for providing support services for students. In the the case of NCP Scholarship awardees, the responsibility for student safety and welfare rests with their home universities and Scope Global.

How are interns accommodated during their internships (housing)? What support is available to the intern and host organisation during an internship?

A host organisation is not expected to provide housing, travel, insurance or other specific arrangements for students. Students arrange their own accommodation with the assistance of their home universities, and in the case of NCP Scholarship awardees, by home universities and Scope Global.

A dedicated Scope Global case manager works with NCP Scholarship awardees, their Australian university and host organisations, to assist with internship arrangements such as: pre-departure briefings; advice on health and travel insurance; accommodation assistance; and payment of allowances. Scope Global is also able to assist with any logistical queries that host organisations may have.

Who arranges and pays for interns' travel and visas?

NCP Scholarship awardees receive a travel stipend. Scholarship awardees and Mobility Program participants arrange their own travel.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade cannot provide visa advice on behalf of other host locations. We encourage participating universities and students to consult directly with the relevant host location's embassy or consulate for advice. Under the NCP, responsibility for securing the correct visas ultimately rests with the students and their universities.

What is the online Internships and Mentorships Network website portal?

The New Colombo Plan Internship and Mentorship Network - - is the online portal where host organisations can securely register proposed work experience internship or mentorship opportunities in the Indo-Pacific region.

The website, and access to registered work experience opportunities on the website, are available only to NCP students and participating universities. Students and universities directly contact, and work with, potential host organisations to take forward registered internship and mentorship opportunities.

What is the difference between a New Colombo Plan Mobility Program and a NCP Scholarship?

The New Colombo Plan includes a prestigious Scholarships Program for study of up to one Academic Year and Internships or Mentorships of up to six months. The NCP Mobility Program provides grants to universities for both short and longer term study, Internships, Mentorships, practicums and research.

Are there taxation issues I need to be aware of?

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade does not provide taxation advice. Host organisations should seek independent taxation advice.

How can I get started? Who can I contact for help?

Log on and register your interest on the NCP Internships and Mentorships Network online portal at Alternatively, you are very welcome to contact the NCP Secretariat directly for more information, or to arrange a discussion on next steps, by emailing:

Are there other ways for me to be involved in the New Colombo Plan?

Yes. The ongoing support of the business community is crucial to the program's success to make study and work in the Indo-Pacific region a "rite of passage" for young Australians.

You can become involved by participating in the NCP Mobility Partners Program, where businesses and other organisations can collaborate with universities to extend opportunities for students direct sponsorship arrangements with universities. For example, a business may wish to finance additional study for students, or match government funding to increase student participation in a project. These businesses will be recognised as a New Colombo Plan Mobility Partner.

The NCP Secretariat is happy to discuss other ways of supporting the NCP. To arrange a discussion please email

About the New Colombo Plan Internship and Mentorship Network

What is the New Colombo Plan (NCP) Internship and Mentorship Network?

Internships and mentorships are central to the NCP's objective of fostering a new generation of Australians with experience of studying and working in our region and with professional networks to advance Australia's national interests in the decades ahead.

The NCP Internship and Mentorship Network website ( is an important initiative to support business engagement with the program. The website aims to enhance links between universities, businesses and NCP students in relation to work placement opportunities and other information.

Who can use the website?

Businesses and other organisations

The network is open to businesses and other organisations offering placement opportunities directly (i.e. a named business or organisation) or with their members (i.e. a contact point provided for a bilateral business chamber/association). Third party and commercial or non-profit internships providers do not qualify to register.

Australian universities and NCP students

The opportunities on this website are only available for NCP students (on-award scholarship recipients or students participating in NCP mobility projects).

NCP Liaison Officers at Australian universities have been granted direct access to the internship and mentoring opportunities that businesses and other organisations have made available via the website for NCP students and projects only. NCP Liaison Officers can share this information for the benefit of their NCP students, or alternatively specific academic colleagues involved in NCP funded learning abroad programs.

NCP scholarship recipients have direct access to the website to enable them to view and pursue opportunities of interest to them. The NCP Secretariat will create user accounts for on-award NCP scholarship holders.

Undergraduate students participating in NCP mobility projects can also access opportunities on the website. Students can contact the NCP Liaison Officer in their Global Programs office if they wish to obtain more information about the range of opportunities available.

How can universities and students make best use of the website?

NCP Liaison Officers can use opportunity data to advise NCP scholarship holders and mobility students on opportunities that have been identified and liaise with host organisations to arrange introductions between the organisations and the students, as considered appropriate.

NCP Liaison Officers may wish to forward opportunities to a specific academic colleague or other undergraduate students involved in NCP supported learning abroad programs.

The opportunity data on the website may also inform university applications for NCP mobility program funding, and encourage collaboration between universities and business to extend opportunities for NCP students.

Registration Process for Businesses and Other Organisations

Why should my organisation register?

If you are a business or other organisation offering placement opportunities directly (i.e. a named business or organisation) or with your members (i.e. bilateral business chamber/association), you can access a diverse talent pool through the New Colombo Plan (NCP) Internship and Mentorship Network and support students in obtaining professional experience in the region.

Universities and NCP students can access the opportunities made available by registered organisations for subsequent direct discussion with the organisation concerned.

How would my organisation submit opportunities?

If your organisation is eligible to register you can use the website to offer work placement opportunities to NCP students.

Organisations can describe the types of work placement opportunities they would like to offer to NCP students and provide a point of contact and other information.

You can submit opportunities in a variety of ways:

Registering specific opportunities – this allows you to target students in particular disciplines or locations.

Registering a broad range of opportunities or interests – this allows you to attract a variety of interest from universities and students.

How long does registration take?

The registration form should take no longer than ten minutes to complete.

Please complete the form in its entirety before submitting your registration.

Mandatory fields are indicated.

Will I receive an email confirmation following a successful registration of my organisation?

The information that you submit via the website will be processed by the New Colombo Plan Secretariat prior to publication.

You will receive separate emails with log in instructions and notification that we have processed your registration. Once your organisation is registered, you can submit your Logo to the site to appear alongside your opportunity data.

When can my organisation expect to be contacted by universities and students?

More than 10,000 students have been funded by the program in its first three years. All NCP students are encouraged to undertake an internship/mentorship/practicum/industry engagement during their NCP experience. As such, we anticipate the demand for internships and other work placements available on the website will continue to grow over time.

Log in Process

How do I log in to the website?

Once your registration has been processed, you will receive an email with log in instructions. Follow the instructions to log in using the temporary password provided. The temporary password has an expiry. If you are not able to log in prior to the expiry time, follow the "Forgotten your password?" link available on the NCP Network home page to obtain a new password.

How do I obtain a new password?

If you have forgotten your password or if your temporary password has expired, you may obtain a new password by following the "Forgotten your password?" link available on the NCP Network home page.

Registration Options

Can I register over the phone?

We cannot accept registrations over the telephone. If you require an electronic or paper-based registration form please contact the NCP Secretariat on or by mail to:

New Colombo Plan Secretariat, R G Casey Building, John McEwen Crescent, Barton ACT 0221 Australia.


How do I know my information is safe?

Personal information provided to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is protected by law, including the Privacy Act 1988. We may collect, use and disclose your personal information, including to overseas recipients where we reasonably believe it is necessary to provide you with consular assistance. Important information about the privacy of your personal information is contained in our Consular Privacy Collection Statement.

Change of Details

How do I add new opportunities?

You will need to log in to the website to submit new opportunities. Each new opportunity will be processed by the NCP Secretariat prior to publication.

How long does it take for opportunities to be published?

We will endeavour to process and publish opportunities from eligible organisations within two business days of receipt.

How do I add additional contacts in my organisation?

You will need to log in to the website and add contacts. Instructions are available in the related help guide.

How do my university colleagues access the website?

You will need to log in to the website and add your colleagues as contacts indicating that they are requesting log in access.


Why was I logged off automatically?

NCP Network website sessions are set to time out after 20 minutes of inactivity. After 15 minutes of inactivity, a message is displayed notifying a user that their session will time out in 5 minutes and provide an option to extend their session for a further 20 minutes. If no action is taken, the user will be logged off automatically.

If you experience difficulty please send an email outlining the problem, including your web browser and version number, to

Visas and further assistance

Where can I find more information about visas for internships?

NCP students are responsible for ensuring they, or their home university, have arranged appropriate visas for the duration of their NCP experience.

Students and/or universities should contact relevant diplomatic/visa issuing authorities in Australia regarding visas.

How can I contact the New Colombo Plan Secretariat for further assistance?

For further assistance please contact the New Colombo Plan Secretariat on

Last Updated: 4 September 2015
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