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Four Reasons to Apply for a New Colombo Plan Experience

A New Colombo Plan experience is a chance to level-up your life. Listen as our alumni tell how the program connected with their academic, professional and personal goals.

1. Achievement

Connor, Katrina and Mia believed that living, learning and interning overseas would help their studies and future career paths:

“I recognised how important it was to gain international experience while at university. I have my own personal interest in Australia-China relations and Australia's position in the APEC region. So, I thought it seemed important to gain experience and learn more about the countries out there.”

“Part of the NCP to be able to go somewhere and learn something from a completely difference perspective. Rather than learning how Australia looks at the region, doing the study at university and internships with the NCP you learn about what's happening with issues from that country's perspective. So, for me, that was what I wanted out of the experience.”

“I wanted to get on-the-ground experience, especially while studying. It's so important to enrich your own personal and professional world view and skills to work in your field of interest or to perhaps change what you may or may not want to do now.”

2019 New Colombo Plan Scholar James Fairley, Japan. Image provided by James Fairly
2019 New Colombo Plan Scholar James Fairley, Japan. Image provided by James Fairly

2. Curiosity

Maxi and Oliver confess that they didn't know much about the NCP until they found out about it through their university or other networks. It sparked the idea that it might be an opportunity worth pursuing.

“I went to my university's information session and the idea of it took my fancy. I decided I wanted an opportunity to represent my university and to challenge myself.”

“I'd always heard about the program and it sounded like an incredible opportunity. I wanted to participate as I planned to undertake Pacific Studies at my university. The NCP provided an opportunity which became an extended and immersive experience as part of my degree.”

2019 Scholar Kaelan Lockhart shares a meal with friends on the Tet Spring Festival, Vietnam. Image provided by Kaelan Lockhart
2019 Scholar Kaelan Lockhart shares a meal with friends on the Tet Spring Festival, Vietnam. Image provided by Kaelan Lockhart

3. Opportunity

For others, it was the opportunity to live in a developing country – and for different reasons.

“I had two previous exchanges in Europe and Asia. I applied to the NCP to further relationships, global understanding and develop more long term links. I wanted to go to a developing country this time. The challenge of doing that while getting the backing of the Australian government to do internships around the region was a great experience.”

“As an undergraduate in community and international development, my study was focused around the Asia Pacific and Africa. My career goal was to work with communities building their skills and helping them thrive.”

Mia Dunphy getting to know fellow 2018 New Colombo Plan Scholars to Indonesia at the Australian Consulate General in Surabaya. Image provided by Scope Global
Mia Dunphy getting to know fellow 2018 New Colombo Plan Scholars to Indonesia at the Australian Consulate General in Surabaya. Image provided by Scope Global

4. Passion

Previous travel experiences, and gaining new personal experiences were also reasons why some past scholars have taken up the opportunity the NCP program provides.

“I always wanted to go to Vietnam as I'd been there with my parents as a child and I was keen to do a semester at a university overseas.”

“To get on the ground experience especially while studying is so important to enrich my own personal and professional world view. The skills to get you in the fields you are interest in, or it may make you consider changing what you may or may not want to do now and in the future.”

The New Colombo Plan

The New Colombo Plan Scholarship and Mobility Grant program is an Australian government initiative which aims to lift knowledge of the Indo-Pacific region in Australia by supporting Australian undergraduate students to study and undertake internships in the region. Since its launch in 2014 as a pilot program, it's now expanded to 40 host locations for study and internship across the Indo-Pacific region.

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