Bachelor of Laws and International Relations student Zac McDougall has been awarded a prestigious New Colombo Plan Scholarship by the Federal Government.
The 20-year-old will fly to Japan in April next year to spend a semester at Osaka University and immerse himself in Japanese culture and language.
With the long-term goal of a career in government policy and international affairs, Mr McDougall said he hoped to build strong institutional and personal connections that would allow him to contribute to Australia’s foreign policy in the region.
“The power dynamics in the Indo-Pacific are rapidly shifting and becoming increasingly unstable. As “I see the future of the Indo-Pacific as extremely important for Australia’s foreign policy, and I am excited to have the opportunity to immerse myself in the region,” he said.
“Japan, as a key actor in the region, will play a meaningful role in the future of the Indo-Pacific.
“By studying in Japan, I want to gain a deep social, political, cultural understanding of the nation.”
He might also try to sneak a little snowboarding in between his studies, Japanese language lessons and industry internships.
“I’m really passionate about winter sports, I recently did a stint working at Jindabyne in the Australian snowfields, so I’m really looking forward to having a chance to do a little bit of that during my time in Japan,” he said.
It was snowboarding that first sparked the Miami High graduate’s love of Japanese culture.
“I had visited Japan before and found I really enjoyed the people and the culture so I’m really delighted to have the chance to return,” he said.
“It’s also such an important country in terms of Australia’s strategic objectives within the Indo-Pacific.”