Bond University Bachelor of International Relations/Bachelor of Laws student, and New Columbo Plan (NCP) scholarship recipient, Holli Sargeant is currently on exchange in Singapore and shared her story with Bond Journalism’s Emily Selleck…
“I initially applied for the NCP without giving much thought to the specifics of my program,” Holli said.
“My main focus was the opportunity to be considered to study in the IndoPacific knowing the incredible opportunities the prestige of the NCP could provide.
“After my expression of interest was accepted by Bond, I spent hours researching study and internship options, and it did not take long before I had my heart set on Singapore and the National University of Singapore.
“I was drawn to the unique position of Singapore as a major global player, economic hub and cultural melting pot nestled in South-East Asia. Despite all my preparations, I found my program changed significantly at the suggestions of my interviewing panel at DFAT.
“This is how I came to now be studying Mandarin and having many hilarious interactions ordering sleep (shuìjiào) instead of dumplings (shu ji o) in Chinese at local hawker centres.
“I opted to stay off campus to find a close connection to the Singaporean community and for the remainder of my stay, I will be completing my Bachelor of International Relations at NUS and taking on an internship into the beginning of the New Year before I graduate in February.
“I have no doubt the opportunities provided by my NCP Scholarship will last me for a lifetime, through the personal and cultural relationship I have and will continue to build with Singapore and neighbouring countries.
“We are no stranger to the constant saying we live in a world constantly globalising and constantly changing. The relationship between Australia and the Indo-Pacific will continue to grow exponentially over the next few years and I know through my legal career, the international relations between Asia and Australia will continue to shape our nation.”
Holli’s fellow International Relations/Laws student, Jasmine Valcic was this week awarded a New Colombo Plan scholarship, which is given to 120 of the country's brightest students.
She will spend a semester studying at Mahidol University International College in Eastern Thailand with hopes of interning at the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development in Bangkok or Amnesty International Thailand.