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$1.4m to fund Griffith Uni Indo-Pacific exchange

A New Colombo Plan Mobility Program at Griffith University in Australia will allow 413 students to participate in projects across the Indo-Pacific region over the next three years after it received $1.4 million in funding.

Indo-PacificThe New Colombo Plan offers Australian students scholarships to study, or participate in internships or mentorships, in the Indo Pacific region. Photo: Unsplash

Students will have the opportunity to choose from 35 credit-bearing mobility projects across 16 countries

“Griffith University is committed to producing graduates who are future-ready, and providing a global perspective and understanding is an important part of that,” vice president (global) Sarah 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.”

“For some students, their experience will be a virtual one due to the current Covid-19-related travel restrictions”

Students will have the opportunity to choose from 35 credit-bearing mobility projects across 16 countries, including Vanuatu, Vietnam, Tonga and Japan, thanks to the funding provided by the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The New Colombo Plan is the Australian government’s signature initiative that aims to lift knowledge of the Indo Pacific in the country by supporting Australian undergraduates to study and undertake internships in the region.

In 2021, the New Colombo Plan is providing scholarships 125 Australian undergraduate students from 38 universities to “live, learn and connect” across 26 locations.

The participants include nine Griffith undergraduate students.

“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,” Todd said.

Griffith Asia Business Internship convenor Andrea Haefner said that despite working from remotely, participants on the 2020-21 mobility program could still build strong relationships at companies.

“Students worked from their own homes – much like everyone else – except they were interning for companies in five Asian destinations,” she said of the 2020/21 program.

“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 reminded.

“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.”

Todd it also president of APAIE, which is holding its virtual event on March 23-24, 2021.

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