The New Colombo Plan is a signature initiative of the Australian Government which is opening doors for the next generation of Australians, giving them the opportunity to expand their knowledge and understanding of the Indo-Pacific region.

Announced by the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Julie Bishop MP in December 2013, the initiative is supporting Australian undergraduate students to undertake study and internships across the region. In doing so, the Australian Government hopes to deepen Australia’s individual, business and institutional relationships with the Indo-Pacific, but also ensure a more regionally aware Australian workforce for the future.

The New Colombo Plan pilot year of 2014 supported 40 scholars and more than 1,300 mobility students to live study and undertake work placements in the four pilot locations of Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan and Singapore. In 2015, the New Colombo Plan is building on this success, supporting 68 scholars and more than 3,100 mobility students the chance to study in 32 host locations, including mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. In 2016, the New Colombo Plan will continue to expand, offering around 100 scholarships and at least 4,750 mobility grants for students to live, study and undertake work placements in the region.

Funding is available for Australian students under the program in two streams. The first is a scholarships program for study of up to one year and internships or mentorships, and the second is a flexible mobility grants program for short and longer-term study, internships, mentorships, clinical placements, practicums and research.

The program is open to Australian undergraduates aged 18 to 28 studying at Australian universities, with capacity to include some students over 28 in the mobility program. New Colombo Plan study programs must count for credit or be a mandatory component of your Australian degree. Students are strongly encouraged to undertake internships or mentorships under the program, which will greatly enhance your experience abroad and give you the networks to enable success in your future career.

Application Process and Important Dates
Details of the application process for the 2016 New Colombo Plan scholarships program, including dates and timelines, can be found on the Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan website . Scholarship nominations from Australian universities will be invited from 1 July to 31 July 2015. Nominees’ completed applications may be submitted from 3 August to 31 August 2015.

IMPORTANT: Different universities have slightly varied application openings and deadlines. To avoid missing your chance on this year’s program, contact your Study Abroad/International office on campus. Be sure to pay close attention to the deadlines as there are no opportunities to make late submissions.

ACYA
For New Colombo Plan scholarship recipients selected to study in China, Hong Kong or Taiwan, the Australia China Youth Association is pleased to offer a pre-departure and on ground support program. With over 5,000 members across Australia and the Greater China region, ACYA has an existing social and professional network to help New Colombo Plan scholars settle into unfamiliar locations – from internship opportunities in Beijing to Aussie Drinks in Taipei, scholars will be able to find some form of support from ACYA.

Support begins with opportunities to engage with local university based ACYA chapters and a pre-departure Skype session with a Greater China based city representative to address any questions or concerns. Scholars will receive a Welcome Pack with contributions from ACYA members, detailing social events and professional engagements tailored to their location. While scholars undertake the program, they will be supported by a local ACYA chapter and offered internship and other opportunities within the ACYA network.

Coming home from the New Colombo Plan program, they will be re-integrated with their Australian ACYA chapter and be able to continue engaging with Asia and all its challenges with like-minded ACYA members.

Latest News
For the latest news on the New Colombo Plan, follow the New Colombo Plan on Twitter (@NewColomboPlan) or visit the New Colombo Plan website.

Contact
For more information, please visit the New Colombo Plan page of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website, or contact the NCP Secretariat at ncp.secretariat@dfat.gov.au.

Please feel free to email education@acya.org.au if you have any questions about the ACYA New Colombo Plan Welcome Pack.