New Colombo Plan scholarship winners

Elise Stephenson and Elliot Jones who are recipients of 2014 New Colombo Plan scholarships.
Elise Stephenson and Elliot Jones who are recipients of 2014 New Colombo Plan scholarships.

Two outstanding Griffith students are about to have their dream of studying overseas turned into reality after receiving scholarships to study in Hong Kong.

The Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan Scholarship Program recognises high achieving students who also show a commitment to their community and potential as a future leader.

The scholarship recipients receive up to $67,000 to study and gain work experience in Asia.

Environmental Engineering student Elliot Jones is looking forward to making the most of the opportunity.

“This is a great chance to challenge my own boundaries in a new place, explore the field of Environmental Engineering in an international context, and get a taste for the culture and language of a region which is so important to us,” Elliotsaid.

“I am excited to study at the University ofHongKongbecause it is one of the highest-ranking universities in Asia; it is globally recognised for having a strong focus onsustainability and an exceptional Engineering faculty.”

The mobility funding scholarships are a component of the Australian Government’s commitment to fostering closer relationships with Australia’s neighbours in the Indo-Pacific region.

Elise Stephenson, who is studying Bachelor of Asian Studies/Bachelor of Communicationsdouble degree, said the opportunity will be beneficial to her personal development.

“I am happy to be given the opportunity to live and study in a new city and hopefully make some life-long friends along the way. I am looking forward to exploring Hong Kong and immersing myself in a different culture,” she said.

The New Colombo Plan will provide $100 million in funding over five years, supporting Australian undergraduate students to pursue semester-based and short-term study, teaching practicums, research, clinical placements, internships and mentorships across a range of disciplines in the Indo-Pacific region.

Both Elliot and Elise say the process of applying for the scholarship provided them with the chance to develop new skills, particularly interview and communication skills as well as increased confidence in speaking with Griffith academics.

“Interacting with academics within my degree and staff within the scholarship and Griffith University Global Mobility team, made me realise the Griffith community is an accumulation of highly passionate and caring individuals, who work together to create an enriching, inviting and supportive environment,” said Elise.

“The selection process has allowed me to sharpen my inter-personal skills, particularly when conversing with academics and officials. It has also honed my application writing and interview skills. These skills are very valuable and will no doubt help when applying for jobs in the future,”Elliot said.

Applicants were recently interviewed in Canberra with a selection panel comprising representatives from both the Department of Education and DFAT, members of the relevant diplomatic corps and representatives of the business community.