Kelly White and Emma Larouche
24 January 2024: Three students from the University of Canberra have been awarded the opportunity to travel to the Indo-Pacific region as recipients of the New Colombo Plan (NCP) scholarships for 2024.
The scholarship program was launched in 2014 by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), aiming to boost knowledge of the Indo-Pacific by supporting Australian undergraduates to study and undertake internships in the region.
Jasmine Jarrett-Glasser, who is studying a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Politics and International Relations, is particularly interested in the internship part of the program when she heads to Bangkok later this year.
“The Asia-Pacific headquarters of the United Nations (UN) is based in Bangkok and I would love to do an internship with one of the UN’s environment programs,” Ms Jarrett-Glasser said.
She is planning to spend one semester overseas, before returning to the University to complete her double degree, with the ambition of building a career in environmental law.
“I’ve really enjoyed learning about environmental policy and would love to work on environmental policy reform and climate change litigation, to improve our laws in Australia and strengthen them for future challenges,” she said.
“The Indo-Pacific is also facing similar challenges in this area which makes the NCP Scholarship such a great opportunity.”
Joshua Meischke, a Bachelor of Secondary Education and Bachelor of Arts student will spend a full academic year in Hong Kong where he will live, study and work.
As a future secondary English teacher, and a native English speaker, Mr Meischke is keen to experience how English is taught at a non-English speaking university. He hopes this perspective will strengthen his own teaching practice.
“Cultural discourse is very important – it provides perspective,” Mr Meischke said.
“That’s the benefit of the New Colombo Plan. You get to live in another country and experience other ways of doing things. In Australia, we have a very robust schooling system, but I’m also interested to see new ways of thinking about how education can be done.”
Third year Bachelor of Secondary Education/Bachelor of Science student Genevieve Wade decided to travel to Brunei Darussalam, in South East Asia, to build on her existing skills and knowledge in environmental sciences.
“Brunei has rainforest, coastline and ocean. If everything goes to plan, I’ll take one unit of tropical forest ecology and then one unit on marine toxicity and pollution,” she said.
Ms Wade is already qualified to lead outdoor education excursions in a range of environmental settings and works in a casual capacity assisting to supervise camps and excursions across ACT schools. She also works at Birrigai Outdoor School one day a week on the Outdoor Leadership Mentoring Program.
She knew that education would be the perfect career that married her skills and interests. With the New Colombo Plan Scholarship, she hopes to experience new cultures and different ways of delivering education.
“I'm hoping to do an internship at one of the schools there, to experience a different style of education – to see what strategies and techniques they use, and how their curriculum and schools are structured,” Ms Wade said.
“I also chose Brunei, as I believe the culture will be very different to Australia. Understanding different cultures is always going to be beneficial in the classroom because you will have students from different backgrounds.”
Although scholarship applications and organising international exchange can be complex, Ms Wade says the UC Global Learning team have provided support to smooth the process.
“They'll help you with whatever you need,” Ms Wade said. “I had a meeting to talk about the application and then another to talk through a strategy for the interview. They have been really helpful throughout the whole process.”