Big scholarship takes Waikato student to Europe
19 September 2016
A University of Waikato science graduate has received a $73,000 scholarship to study a masters degree in Europe.
Freya Robinson, 21, will spend two years completing an Erasmus Mundus joint master degree in Aquaculture, Environment and Society (ACES). She’ll travel between Scotland, Greece and France looking at how other countries use aquaculture to develop sustainable fishing and harvesting methods.
“Right now I’m in Oban studying at the Scottish Association for Marine Science with the University of the Highlands and Islands,” Freya says. “After six months here I’ll move on to the University of Crete and then the University of Nantes.”
Freya found out about the scholarship programme from one of her university lecturers.
“When I heard I could study aquaculture overseas it was a no-brainer. It’s a really small industry in New Zealand so being able to visit countries where aquaculture is well developed is a good opportunity,” says Freya. “Plus winning the scholarship meant it would be an all-expenses-paid trip.”
The Erasmus Mundus scholarship covers tuition fees, travel and living costs for two years to the value of $73,000.
Originally from Gisborne, Freya started out studying a Diploma in Marine Sciences at Waiariki Bay of Plenty Polytechnic in Tauranga. After two years she decided to turn her diploma into a Bachelor of Science at the University of Waikato.
“The partnership between the polytechnic and university made it easy to turn my diploma into a bachelors degree and keep studying in Tauranga,” Freya says.
During her studies Freya travelled to Papua New Guinea as part of a paper in coral reef ecology. “We went diving in some incredible spots that were unlike anything I’ve ever seen and we were able to test the practical skills we’d learned in a completely new environment."
After she finishes her masters degree, Freya hopes to get a job in Europe to gain more knowledge and experience in the aquaculture industry. “I’d love to get a research or development job so I can help create new aquaculture practices and improve some of the current techniques used,” she says.