Does going on exchange and living in the Indo-Pacific for up to 19 months sound incredible to you? How about completing an international internship whilst abroad, or studying a new language full-time? How about doing it all, without financial burden? If you said yes to all the above questions and are interested in the Indo-Pacific and gaining invaluable international experience to kick-start your future, then maybe you should be considering a New Colombo Plan Scholarship.
The New Colombo Plan (NCP) is a government initiative which supports undergraduate students across Australia to deepen their knowledge and networks within the Indo-Pacific region through mobility grants for short-term study tours, internships and semester exchanges; and prestigious scholarships for long-term immersive experiences.
I was fortunate enough to be awarded a New Colombo Plan PwC Singapore 2017 Scholarship, which sponsored me to live, study and work in Singapore for 15 months. I spent five and a half months interning with PwC’s Growth Markets Centre in Singapore, one month studying Mandarin full-time, and spent two semesters studying at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU). As a BS08 student at QUT, I was able to credit all of this back to my degree without having to postpone or extend my studies.
Going overseas on an NCP scholarship opens up a world of opportunity. Whilst the scholarship is well funded, and that certainly lifts a burden off the shoulders for students, it is the other aspects of the scholarship which make it so attractive. As it is an Australian Government Scholarship, we are connected with the embassies and high commissions in your host country and invited to special networking events all throughout the year. Before and after your exchange, you’ll also be invited to various networking events, forums, conferences and alumni reunions. Through the NCP program and network, you will have the chance to connect with other high-achieving like-minded students from all across Australia, as well as politicians, and business and industry professionals from across the globe.
The doors an NCP Scholarship can open for you are unreal – many scholars often secure unbelievable mentorships and internships whilst abroad, and quite a few end up using their newfound connections and international experience to nab highly sought-after jobs and graduate positions. Having the ability to expand your professional network with highly regarded industry professionals from around the world, is an invaluable asset to have so early on in your career. With the graduate job market becoming so competitive, who you know and what experience you have, is important in being able to land your dream job and start working your way up the corporate ladder.
If you are passionate about working in or with the Indo-Pacific region, building a comprehensive network of leading industry professionals to help you achieve your career ambitions, representing QUT and Australia with integrity and class on an international stage, and immersing yourself in a foreign country and culture – I strongly recommend investigating the New Colombo Plan. I’m not going to lie – it is an intense selection process, and if you are successful, your time overseas will be one of the most challenging and intense (but immensely rewarding) experiences of your life. It will be a time for you to push yourself past all your limits and beyond; to step outside of your comfort zone and explore the unknown, and to achieve great things you never thought possible. BUT, if you are passionate about what you do and strongly believe in the aims of the New Colombo Plan, and if you aren’t scared of a bit of hard work, then this program is perfect for you.