Angus Delaney and Claire Demuth were among four Swinburne students who were awarded New Colombo Plan Scholarships in 2022.
Angus and Claire share their experiences of studying in Fiji and Malaysia respectively as part of their scholarships.
Getting creative with engineering
Claire, who is undertaking a Bachelor in Engineering spent a semester at University of Technology Malaysia (UTM) in Johor Bahru.
‘I’ve had the chance to visit a lot of places across Malaysia, and travel to Indonesia with some friends from UTM. It’s been great to have these experiences while meeting new people and exploring a different part of the world.”
Claire says that gaining knowledge about the Indo-pacific region has been a highlight of her time abroad.
“UTM offers a wide variety of subjects; each semester, there are seven or eight subject on offer that covers a lot of different topics, so it has been a huge learning experience for me.”
Claire, who majors in Product Design, says she enjoys the creative side of engineering.
“Engineering can be quite math and science heavy, so I enjoy the creative side such as drawing and making things look aesthetically pleasing. I also enjoy challenging myself in that aspect while doing the hard STEM subjects.”
Following her time at UTM, Claire will be heading to India for 12 weeks for an internship, and plans do some language training or another semester abroad after.
A closer look at climate change
Angus, who’s currently undertaking a Bachelor of Media and Communication with a major in Journalism, wants to work as an environmental reporter when he graduates. He has just finished a semester at University of South Pacific in Fiji and plans to move on to more study and interning overseas.
“I have always been interested in nature, animals and the outdoors. As I got older, it expanded into the bigger issues of climate change, so seeing the impact of climate change firsthand in Fiji was important to me.”
Angus’s dream job is as a Pacific correspondent for the ABC, a dream that the New Colombo Plan Scholarship could help make a reality.
“My perspective of the world has changed, I have learnt a lot more about how the Pacific fits in the context of global media and the world and I feel more equipped for the career I want to pursue,” he says.
Angus also had the opportunity to undertake an internship with the Fiji Times, which he says was a highlight of his time in Fiji.
“I remember we were reporting on a story which took us to the Yasawa Islands, it was incredible. My internship gave me a rare insight into how the media operates in Fiji. This has led to more work opportunities next year, which will involve living in the Yasawa Islands for a few weeks.”
New Colombo Plan Scholarship
The New Colombo Plan Scholarship is a prestigious Australian Government program that provides opportunities for Australian undergraduate students to undertake a semester of study, internship or mentorship in participating Indo-Pacific locations.
Both Angus and Claire agree that their time overseas have enriched their professional purpose.
“There are so many unbelievable opportunities that come from the scholarship. I never thought of studying in Malaysia, but I have been pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoy living in the region. I’m now more interested to learn about the different cultures over here,” Claire says.
“I think exposing yourself in a new environment forces you to have an open mind and make the most of an opportunity presented to you. I have learnt lots about the Pacific, Australia and myself, all while aiding my professional career.” Angus says.
Applications for the New Colombo Plan Scholarship 2024 are now open. Register for an information session or contact the Swinburne Abroad team for more details.