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58 Students off to Latin America and Asia Thanks to PM

58 Students off to Latin America and Asia Thanks to PM

The lion’s share of Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia and Latin America were awarded to University of Auckland students in the latest funding round.

In total 58 University of Auckland students will share over half a million dollars ($528,891) to pursue study, work experience and research in Asia and Latin America during their degrees.

Six University of Auckland students received Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Latin America (PMSLA), a highly sought after programme designed to create future economic and cultural links with emerging markets in South America.

The recipients were:

• Chris Lijzenga, Bachelor of Arts (Politics and International Relations): seven-week internship in Argentina.

• Laetitia Laubscher, Bachelor of Laws: 12-week internship at Espacio Público in Santiago, Chile.

• Caitlin Houghton: Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Music conjoint: four-week language programme to Chile and One semester exchange to Chile.

• Viktor Nola Dodd, Conjoint: BCom/BE(Hons): eight-week research internship with the CINVESTAV in Guadalajara, Mexico and four-week intensive Spanish classes in Puerto Escondido, Mexico.

• Frances Sulikosky, Conjoint: BA/LLB(Hons): One semester exchange to Tecnologico de Monterrey in Mexico City, Mexico.

• Hanyang Ge, Master of Arts: six-week independent research in Peru.

For Laetitia Laubscher it is the second time she has received the scholarship. The Bachelor of Laws student will complete her second Law exchange at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.

“Culture doesn't live in a book. You'll never understand a Chilean until you've shared an empanada or piscola with them,” Laetitia says of her previous exchange.

“Through submerging myself into the Chilean culture, I feel better equipped to enter an international career linked with Latin America in particular. My language skills as well as cultural comprehension are significantly improved.”

As well as experiencing how a different legal system operates, Laetitia had to overcome some unusual cultural differences, such as the lack of toasters or the concept of ‘brunch’ in Chile.

“It took me months to learn, but I did finally learn how to toast bread in a frying pan without burning it,” she says.

To receive a scholarship applicants were required to demonstrate an ability to represent New Zealand, academic aptitude, and how their placement could be linked to New Zealand’s education, economic or trade agenda.

Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia were also awarded to 22 individual University of Auckland students, and 30 students as part of group applications.

They will travel to destinations including Japan, South Korea, China, Singapore, and Hong Kong, where they can immerse themselves in the local language, undertake medical or business internships, participate in a research exchange, or gain credit towards their University of Auckland degree.

The successful University of Auckland groups include internships to Business and Engineering companies in Shenzhen China; placements on the Global Business and Innovation Program at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen; and internships with Business and Engineering companies in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Brett Berquist, Director International at the University of Auckland, says the number of scholarships claimed by University of Auckland students in this round was outstanding.

“We place a high priority on encouraging our students to include international learning as part of their academic journey. Connecting with other cultures and economies is an important aspect of career development,” he says.


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