More than $1.4 million in funding from the New Colombo Plan (NCP) Mobility Program will allow 413 Griffith University students to participate in projects across the Indo-Pacific over the next three years.
Eligible students will join 35 mobility projects across 16 countries, including Vanuatu, Vietnam, Tonga and Japan, as a result of the funding package from the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Vice President (Global) Professor Sarah Todd said the NCP Mobility Program strengthens ties between Australia and the Indo-Pacific, earning students connections and skills that will support them through their careers.
“Griffith University is committed to producing graduates who are future-ready, and providing a global perspective and understanding is an important part of that,” Professor Todd said.
“The experiences students will have as part of the mobility projects include internships and academic programs that will enhance not only their global understanding but also their employability when they graduate. “
The program supports students across a range of degrees and participants will receive 10 or 20 credit points towards their degree.
While travel restrictions due to COVID-19 may hamper some efforts to experience international locations in 2021, it is not an impossible concept for the recipients.
“For some students, their experience will be a virtual one due to the current COVID 19-related travel restrictions and we have worked closely with academic colleagues and international partners to develop options, but funding is also in place to support multi-year projects,” Professor Todd said.
Griffith Asia Business Internship (GABI) convenor Dr Andrea Haefner said students who participated in the 2020-21 mobility program remotely still built and maintained strong relationships with employees of the companies they were interning for.
“Students worked from their own homes — much like everyone else — except they were interning for companies in five Asian destinations,” Dr Haefner said.
“People in some of the countries were experiencing second and even third waves, so they were all working from home too.”
Similarly, students highlighted that they were still able to form meaningful connections while networking during digital conferences and events.
Asian Studies and Government and International Relations student Claire Doherty is finishing up her Remote Global Internship with JOST&Co, a management consultancy organisation based in Seoul and Melbourne, specialising in culture, change and leadership.
She is confident this experience will give her a competitive edge when starting her career.
“I am learning about various business practices and this is definitely in my favour as I aim to work in South Korea,” Claire said.
“Having a clearer understanding of the operations of an Australian consultancy firm based in-country is highly advantageous.”
Dr Haefner said participants build skills, knowledge, digital capability and industry connections, but additional benefits include the development of cultural capacity.
“Students taking part in NCP Mobility Programs, develop cultural literacy through activities like introductory history, culture, education and politics sessions, language classes, industry partner sessions, and cultural online classes, including cooking, film writing,” she said.
“For GABI students in particular, they may participate in something like K-Pop and a Makgeolli workshops.
“It is great to see that students are still able to engage with other countries, learn about a new culture and work with an overseas company during unprecedented times.
“Many students have plans to travel to their assigned country once they are able, to strengthen those bonds even further.”