I was fortunate enough to receive the New Colombo Plan Scholarship from the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. After a very long 2-month wait, receiving the news that I had been selected to represent Australia and the New Colombo Plan in Taiwan for the next 12 months was incredibly exciting! It was a privilege to then be presented the scholarship by Julie Bishop, at Parliament House in November last year.
As an initiative of the Government’s Foreign Policy, the New Colombo Plan aims to strengthen Australia’s relations with our region and enhance our capacity to engage with our Indo-Pacific neighbours in the future. Throughout my time in Taiwan, I’ll also be working to support Australia’s relationship with Taiwan through working with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, managing the Australia Taiwan Youth Association and attending conferences such as the Global Youth Trends Forum.
The first part of my program includes intensive Mandarin language training at Taiwan Mandarin Institute. I’ll then be completing an exchange semester at National Taiwan University – studying Economics, International relations and Mandarin. The final 6 months I will be undertaking internships in businesses, regional organisations and government offices.
I’m very excited to be on the brink of a great adventure – a new culture, language, people and working environment! I am really going to miss everyone in the incredible Kew Baptist Church & Res community, but I’m excited for the adventure that the next 12 months will bring!