Seven students from The University of Western Australia are among 35 young Australians to be awarded a Westpac Asian Exchange Scholarship.
Scholarship recipients Steve Clarke of Hamilton Hill, Huba Novak of Harrisdale, Maria Waters of Kalamunda, Brian Chi of Jolimont, Benjamin Caulfield of Brentwood, Emma Bond of Doubleview and Bohemia Crawford of Crawley will have the opportunity to study in Asia from Semester 2, 2022 for up to 12 months provided travel restrictions have eased.
Steve, who is studying a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Computer Science and Economics, said the scholarship would provide him with the tools to learn abroad, and the network to connect with others who share his passions.
“My interest in algorithms and languages leads me to believe that the language learning and translation process can be greatly improved, and I think my studies will give me the skill and responsibility to create useful tools that empower Australians to communicate with those around them,” he said.
Maria, who is completing a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Chinese Studies and Finance, said the scholarship offered much more than financial support, and would provide growth opportunities.
“The Westpac Asian Exchange Scholarship is very important to me because it means I will never be alone,” she said. “I’ll make lifelong connections and gain invaluable knowledge from other scholars and industry experts.”
Emma is passionate about emerging energy technologies that could minimise environmental impact without compromising quality of life, and is studying a Bachelor of Philosophy, majoring in Physics and Engineering Science.
“I am looking forward to immersing myself in the Singaporean culture and developing my ability to look at ideas from different angles.”
Huba is interested in how culture, history and politics influence the way societies function, and is studying a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Political Science, International Relations and Japanese Studies.
“After moving to Australia and experiencing the country’s multicultural society, I became interested in discovering more about East Asia, and I am especially interested in Japan,” Huba said.
Brian, who is studying a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Political Science and International Relations said the relationship between Australia and its counterparts in the Asia-Pacific had always been of great interest to him.
“I am excited to have the opportunity to play a part in this during my studies in Hong Kong,” he said.
Bohemia is interested in learning about the cultural aspect of linguistics and is undertaking a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Japanese Studies.
“I want to use my passions to inspire other Australians to hold interests in Asian culture and language and deepen the ties between Australia and Asia,” she said. “My future goal is to become skilful in as many languages as possible, which will increase my employability in Japan or Australia.”
Benjamin is studying a Bachelor of Philosophy majoring in Music Specialist Studies and said his multicultural heritage had inspired him to work towards building stronger links between Australia and the Indo-Pacific region through arts and public policy.
“My experience centres around building people-to-people links, developing resilient arts organisations, and growing non-for-profit groups through a focus on business acumen and audience awareness,” he said.
The students were supported throughout the application process by UWA's Global Learning Office.
The Westpac Asian Exchange Scholarships are awarded annually to undergraduates who are passionate about strengthening ties between Australia and Asia. The scholarship offers recipients the opportunity to study for up to a year in Asia and includes a leadership development program which helps develop cultural intelligence and networks in the region.
Each recipient will be provided with $12,250 for coursework studies and gain membership to the Westpac 100 Scholars Network, joining a select group of inspiring leaders.
Exchange destinations include China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. UWA and Westpac Scholars Trust operate in accordance with the Australian Government’s policy on international travel. If recipients are unable to travel in Semester 2, 2022 due to international restrictions, they will have the opportunity to reapply for the 2023 program.