5 October 2017: Nicholas Ivey credits his decision to study abroad two years ago with changing his entire career outlook and hopes to help students access similar opportunities through his new role as the University of Canberra’s New Colombo Plan (NCP) Alumni Ambassador.
The NCP Alumni Ambassador initiative is designed to bolster the federal government-funded New Colombo Plan program, which is designed to lift knowledge of the Indo-Pacific by supporting undergraduate students to study and undertake internships in the region.
The University was awarded $1.3 million in funding in August to support more than 400 students across 11 programs in 2018.
Mr Ivey, who graduated from the University last month with a Bachelor of Commerce, spent three weeks in China in 2015 as part of a faculty-led study trip, funded under the NCP.
The trip saw students learn from prominent business identities as well as visit cultural sites. Mr Ivey said going inside the Shanghai Stock Exchange was a highlight.
He said seeing first-hand how business is conducted in a foreign country changed his career focus.
“The experience changed the pathway of my education and shifted my focus from financial planning to international business,” Mr Ivey said.
“I returned to Canberra and geared my entire degree towards Asia. The trip was the catalyst for me seeking out and completing a semester exchange program in Hong Kong through the University’s Study Abroad office.
“The experience changed my entire perspective of the degree and my education, and my career is now focused internationally rather than locally and domestically.”
Mr Ivey is now putting his passion into practice working in the University’s Study Abroad office.
Almost 400 current and former students at the University have participated in study trips funded under the NCP since the program began in 2014, while 17,000 students nationwide have studied abroad.
Mr Ivey has been an unofficial ambassador of the program since he travelled to China – such is his enthusiasm for the power of travel and education. He has jumped at opportunities to speak at events and promote the program in an unofficial capacity since 2015.
Mr Ivey said he was excited to begin his new formal role.
“In this role I want to tell the stories of students who participate in New Colombo Plan-funded programs by following their journeys from inception to completion. There are so many benefits to studying abroad and I was to share those messages with the masses.”
The program will run as a pilot in 2018, with each of Australia’s 39 universities appointing an ambassador to spruik their offerings.
“The University has an incredible Study Abroad office which makes all of these programs possible,” Mr Ivey said. “There are so many pathways and opportunities available and I can’t wait to help others explore them.”