The New Colombo Plan (NCP) mobility grant is supporting future leaders like Swinburne University of Technology student Bri Williams to lift their knowledge and future networks in the Indo-Pacific region.
The Bachelor of Law student was sponsored by the program to attend the Indonesia Law, Governance and Culture hybrid virtual overseas study tour in Indonesia last year.
Her experience drove her to become a New Colombo Plan Alumni Ambassador to encourage other eligible students to consider how the program could benefit them.
New Colombo Plan
The NCP mobility grants are open to eligible domestic bachelor or honours degree students, offering up to $7,000 for study tours, internships and exchange opportunities in the Indo-Pacific region.
Funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, New Colombo Plan supports students with language tuition, travel costs, and more.
“It's really good for students of all discipline areas to be aware that these opportunities exist. There are many ways the New Colombo Plan grant or scholarship can be used to create a completely different experience in your academic life,” Bri said.
Global experience delivered locally
Growing up in Geraldton in regional Western Australia, Bri has always been passionate about overcoming the tyranny of distance.
When the pandemic struck and she couldn’t travel, she sought out the hybrid, virtual study tour to continue connecting with new people and cultures.
“This was one of our few on-campus experiences while study was still online during the pandemic,” she said.
“I hadn't had much opportunity to go on campus and be with other people.
“Jeremy (Kingsley, the law lecturer who facilitated the program) had organised the university to emulate a real-life study tour as much as possible.
“For example, we started the day by listening to a soundscape that emulated what we would hear if we were waking up in the inner city of Jakarta, which was special.”
The Indonesia Law, Governance and Culture hybrid virtual internship Bri undertook allows students to learn about the Indonesian legal system through a variety of activities and virtual tours.
Aside from the cultural experience, Bri found significant academic and career benefits from the program, leaving her with new interest areas and aspirations.
“It definitely had an impact and I'm super interested in international relations and law, and it really…widened my professional purpose to not only look into opportunities in my home country but potential opportunities worldwide.”