Life-changing scholarships for eight Sydney students

30 November 2017

Teaching students in Vanuatu, working as a journalist in Myanmar and interning with Uber in Singapore these are just some of the things the 2018 New Colombo Plan scholarship holders will be doing during their semester abroad.

The eight scholarship recipients from the University of Sydney are part of 120 of Australia’s best and brightest undergraduates from 33 universities to receive the highly prestigious scholarships, giving them the opportunity to live, study and work in the Indo-Pacific region for up to 12 months in 2018.

"As society changes and confronts new challenges, university graduates need to have the capacity to contribute to and provide leadership in a changing world; they need the skill sets that will make them global citizens. The government’s New Colombo Plan scholarships are a great way for our students to gain these invaluable skills,” said Dr Michael Spence, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Sydney.

“We want to make sure all students regardless of their background have the opportunity to study abroad. That is why in 2018 the University intends to fund half of all outbound mobility opportunities through University scholarships and government grants.”

We want to make sure all students regardless of their background have the opportunity to study abroad.
Dr Michael Spence, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sydney.

Scholarship recipient Tilini Rajapaksa said the New Colombo Plan is a great opportunity to connect with local students and make networks in the Indo-Pacific region.

“I'm eager to learn Burmese and experience Myanmar at this unique point in time as it undergoes unprecedented development in the private and public sector. I'm also very excited to graduate with Myanmar's next generation of leaders at the historic University of Yangon,” Rajapaksa said.  

The University of Sydney New Colombo Plan scholarship recipients are:

Maria Phuong Thi Nguyen (Bachelor of Education - Primary) will study special education and Pacific studies at the University of the South Pacific and undertake a teaching practicum at a primary school in Vanuatu.

Tilini Rajapaksa (Bachelor of Laws / Bachelor of Global Studies) will study Burmese language and law at the University of Yangon in Myanmar and undertake internships in international development and journalism in Myanmar and Thailand.

Julian Vidal (Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Laws) will study Japanese at the University of Tokyo in Japan and undertake an internship with PwC and Uber in Singapore.

Abigail Elza Widjaja (Bachelor of International and Global Studies) will study politics and international business at Yonsei University in South Korea.

Hal Crichton-Standish (Bachelor of International and Global Studies) will study cultural and policy studies at the University of Hong Kong.

Brian O’Callaghan (Bachelor of Engineering - Civil / Bachelor of Commerce - Finance and International Business) will complete his honours research in construction technologies, integrated design and global finance at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and undertake an internship consulting in renewable technologies and sustainable energy markets with ARUP, a multinational professional services firm.

Longen Lan (Bachelor of Science / Bachelor of Laws) will study legal studies at Renmin University in China and undertake an internship with a commercial law firm in China.

Zachary Wolff (Bachelor of Commerce / Bachelor of Science - Advanced Mathematics) will study economics, mathematics and data analysis at the University of Delhi in India and undertake an internship with an economic think tank and artificial intelligence start-up

Since 2015, the University of Sydney has received government funding to send 27 students to spend a semester abroad in the Asia Pacific region.

International student mobility is key plank in the University of Sydney’s new Sydney Undergraduate Experience launched in February this year. The new undergraduate curriculum offers students a new course architecture with broad, structured choices that ensure that students not only develop deep expertise in their primary field of study but also build an understanding of broader intellectual landscapes and the skills for collaboration, invention and influence. Every student will also have the opportunity to: 

  • learn from leaders in their field
  • take on real-world industry, community and entrepreneurship projects
  • study and work across disciplines
  • gain the skills and understanding to work effectively across cultural boundaries.

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