Warrnambool students will be able to study part of their degree overseas through a new series of grants.
Deakin University has been awarded $1.8 million in grant funding to support more than 500 students to complete part of their degree overseas from next year, as part of the federal government’s New Colombo Plan Mobility Program.
The 2018 program will see undergraduate students travel across the Indo-Pacific region to build their skills through semester-long exchange, internships, study tours and language immersion programs.
Four Warrnambool students participated in the program last year as part of a joint study tour between Deakin University and the University of Tasmania.
Students Jasmine Bursik, Rachel Cook, Dylan Place and Jade Cornfoot participated in a marine and aquaculture program in Japan. Ms Cornfoot said the experience, which included time at the Shimoda marine research station, was invaluable.
“We had real hands-on experience gathering data and working in the lab and then got to present our research at a symposium,” she said.
“It was a really good experience to meet with international students and swap ideas and information about research projects.
Deakin Deputy Vice Chancellor (Global Engagement) professor Gary Smith said it would help students gain in-depth knowledge of the Indo-Pacific region.
He said the projects covered a wide range of study areas including business, public health, environmental studies and communications.
“This is a fantastic program that encourages meaningful academic and industry engagement with some of our closest neighbours and we are delighted the government is supporting it,” Professor Smith said.
The 41 projects, including four multi-year projects funded under previous rounds, will take Deakin students to 15 different countries.
Programs include a water sanitation project in the Yasawa Islands (Fiji), and an industry-based program in partnership with leading Japanese company, Mitsui & Co.
Support for the program from aged-care provider Arcare Pty Ltd will also send 14 students from Deakin’s School of Nursing and Midwifery to Bhutan where they will study primary health care, midwifery and aged care.
“Each of these opportunities to study, live and work outside of Australia will give Deakin students the chance to place their career goals in a global context, equipping them for the jobs of the future,” Professor Smith said.