17 December 2015
Two University of the Sunshine Coast students will help strengthen the region’s international ties after being awarded competitive scholarships to study overseas in 2016.
Bachelor of Arts (Honours) student Lachlan Haycock and Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Business student Caleb Mattiske, both of Nambour, were presented with New Colombo Plan Scholarships by Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop and Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove at a recent awards ceremony at the National Gallery of Australia.
The scholarships, an initiative of the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, aim to boost Australia’s relationships throughout the Indo-Pacific by supporting undergraduates to study and undertake internships in the region.
Former Suncoast Christian College student Caleb, 20, will travel to Korea to spend a semester at Konkuk University in Seoul, where he also plans to complete an internship in international business and governance.
“I chose Korea because it’s a little off the beaten track as opposed to Japan or China, but it’s still a major hub for international business and politics,” Caleb said.
“I’m majoring in geography and international business, and given the geopolitical significance of the region I felt Korea was a perfect case study for my degree.”
Caleb, who hopes to forge a career in international business, said the opportunity to gain professional experience overseas during his degree would prove invaluable.
“In-country experience is so important for international business – money can’t buy that,” he said. “To be able to live and work in-country is an amazing opportunity for a second-year uni student. I’m very grateful for the New Colombo Plan Scholarship.”
Lachlan, 21, will undertake research for his Honours thesis in Indonesian literature at the University of Gadjah Mada in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, and aims to complete an internship in education or youth literacy.
The former St John’s College OP1 student said he was inspired to apply for a New Colombo Plan Scholarship after speaking with previous USC recipients Tess Harwood and Abe Burford, who both studied in Indonesia.
USC International Relations Project Manager Dr Sheila Peake said the scholarships, valued at up to $67,000 per student, were highly competitive.
“Students are expected to act as ambassadors for their universities, their fields of study and for Australia as a whole, so the standard is very high,” Dr Peake said.
“This year there were around 800 applicants for only 100 scholarships. For USC to have secured two is reflective of the quality of our students, and the talent and commitment Lachlan and Caleb have demonstrated during the application process.”
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has also awarded USC a number of New Colombo Plan Mobility Grants for short and longer-term study and research in the Indo-Pacific region.
— Jarna Baudinette