I am a 2018 New Colombo Plan (NCP) Scholar who was based in Japan and South Korea. If you are considering applying for the NCP scholarship, I have outlined a few pointers from my time both as an NCP scholar and going through the application process.
1. Make sure that you have a focused proposed program before you write your application
If you have a thoroughly researched proposed program, it shows. A great thing about the NCP scholarship application process is that it makes you truly examine what you want to do and why you want to do it. If you have taken the time to create a well thought out program, then you will have a much stronger application
2. Seriously consider undertaking a mentorship and a language program
Undertaking a mentorship and a language program will not only help you expand your global network and integrate into the culture, but it will also help you to get the most out of your experience. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Yonsei University and felt that it helped me settle into my new environment immensely.
3. Don’t limit your options before you are fully informed about all possibilities
The NCP scholarship allows students to study in a wide variety of countries, all of which have varying degrees of popularity, university choices, culture and opportunities. I would recommend that you take a serious look at all countries that the NCP allows students to travel to before narrowing down your options.
4. Reach out to previous NCP scholars
Before I went through the QUT interview stage for my application I reached out to two previous NCP scholars to know more about their program, the opportunities available to them as NCP scholars and any tips on the application process. Both scholars gave me great insight and helped me craft the best proposed program to achieve my goals. NCP scholars have all been through the application process, so I would highly recommend you try and get in contact with one or two.
5. Consider what you want to achieve from the scholarship
I would encourage you to take some time to think about the personal, educational and professional goals you want to achieve through the NCP scholarship and how the fulfillment of these goals will help the government accomplish its goals into the future.
(Attending the Embassy of Australia in Seoul as a 2018 NCP scholar)