Waikato students off to Asia and Latin America

20 November 2018

Kale Isaac has been awarded a PMSA to complete a masters degree at the National University of Singapore.

Waikato students have been awarded a combined total of $304,685 through the Prime Minister’s Scholarship for Asia (PMSA) and Latin America (PMSLA).

Funded by the New Zealand government and administered by Education New Zealand, the PMSA and PMSLA programmes aim to strengthen ties with Asia and Latin America and improve the internationalisation of New Zealand tertiary institutions. The scholarships cover the students' study or work fees, travel and accommodation costs.

Seventeen Waikato students have been selected to undertake study or internships at top institutions in Asia in the latest round of Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia.

Attending the University Scholars Leadership Symposium in Bangkok earlier this year was a “life-changing” experience for management and law student Kale Isaac, who has been awarded a PMSA to complete a masters degree at the National University of Singapore. “The opportunity to study a Master of Management at one of the top universities in the world is a pivotal period in my life,” he says. “It will provide a great opportunity to learn about the Asian business environment, and to build connections between the two countries. I can’t wait to head over and start this journey.”

L-R: Hye In Kim and Vinod Bal.

Bachelor of Computing and Mathematical Sciences student Hye In Kim has been awarded a semester exchange at Yonsei University in Seoul, while accounting student Stian Solberg will be embarking on a six-month study of Mandarin Chinese at National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei.

Social sciences and law student Vinod Bal will be moving to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam for an eight-week internship with ACSV Legal. Vinod says he’s beyond ecstatic and grateful for the opportunity to intern in Vietnam. “Getting this experience under my belt is invaluable – it will give me a greater appreciation of the industry I’ll work in after I graduate,” he says.

A group of five Waikato students have been awarded eight-week internships in Ho Chi Minh City through international work experience provider CRCC. Second year law student Te Maiora Rurehe is one of the five PMSA recipients who will be jetting off to Vietnam in December this year. Born in Minginui, Te Maiora moved to Rotorua aged 11 and found the transition from a small town in the Bay of Plenty to what felt like a big city challenging. “Moving from intimate Minginui to Rotorua was an eye-opener – it made me a stronger person,” he says. Studying at Waikato has been a steep learning curve for Te Maiora, but the co-president of the Māori Law Students’ Association says he’s thrilled to be given the opportunity to intern in Ho Chi Minh City. “It’s not very often that people get the chance to intern during their second year – and to be doing that in Vietnam is just brilliant,” he says. First-year engineering student Samuel Bennett is also looking forward to experiencing life in Vietnam, and sees this as a unique opportunity to build ties with community leaders in his field of studies. “I’m extremely humbled to be receiving the Prime Minister's Scholarship for Asia,” he says. “I’m thankful for the opportunity to meet and serve people in a new culture and context.”

L-R: Waikato students Nick Badger, Samuel Bennett, Waimirirangi Mihitea, Aaminah Ghani and Te Maiora Rurehe are jetting off to Vietnam in December.

An additional group of eight law students will soon be packing their bags for Vietnam to spend four weeks at Hanoi Law University and two weeks at the University of Law in Ho Chi Minh City. The trip will give PMSA awardees an insight into a legal system operating in social, economic and political contexts different to New Zealand. After their return, students will act as ambassadors when Te Piringa - Faculty of Law welcomes Vietnamese students to New Zealand in its undergraduate and graduate law programmes.

And finally, eight law students will be heading to Chile for four weeks this summer as recipients of the Prime Minister's Scholarship for Latin America (PMSLA), after being awarded a combined total of $48,000. The students will soon be saying adiós to New Zealand to attend classes at the Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaíso, predominantly focusing on indigenous rights law.

Two rounds of PMSA and PMSLA recipients are announced each year. The application deadline for the next round is 30 March 2019. The University of Waikato also offers several student exchange opportunities, allowing you to take one or two semesters of your degree at one of our partner universities around the world. The closing date for B Semester 2019 applications is 15 January 2019. There are a number of Faculty Exchange Scholarships and Waikato OE Travel Awards you can apply for, and you might also be eligible for an allowance or student loan for overseas study through StudyLink.

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