The students are among 180 New Zealanders who will travel to destinations including Korea, China, India and Singapore to study, carry out research or undertake an internship.
Wintec Centre for Business, Information Technology and Enterprise students Jordan Finlay, Aaron Froggatt, Keir Bullot and Phillippa Kahotea will head to Jinhua Polytechnic in Jinhua city in China’s Zhejiang province.
They will be based at Jinhua Polytechnic for 19 weeks where they will study three Information Technology papers and one Chinese Language and Cultural paper.
Phillippa Kahotea is in her second year studying Wintec’s Bachelor of Applied Information Technology and is both nervous and excited about the upcoming adventure.
“I’m looking forward to making new friends and hopefully paving the way for future business ventures or job opportunities,” says Phillippa.
“I have three children – aged 6, 10 and 15 – who will stay at home with whānau while I am away, allowing me to fully immerse myself into study. Deciding to go on this trip has been one of the hardest decisions of my life but I am proud to show my children and nieces and nephews that you can achieve anything – regardless of your age or race,” she adds.
Fellow scholarship recipients, Shannon MacMillan and Cody Steens from Wintec’s School of Media Arts, are also heading to China, but to Chengdu University.
Bachelor of Media Arts graduate Cody Steens is going to be based at Chengdu for one year while he completes a postgraduate Graphic Design programme. He then plans to return to Wintec to study his Masters.
“For me there two main benefits of this scholarship: the first is learning one of the most spoken languages in the world; and secondly, getting an understanding of another culture’s design to help me better understand and improve my design skills as a whole,” he says.
Wintec’s International Director, Jason Matangi, says that the Prime Minister’s Scholarship has been instrumental in paving the way for Wintec students to study and live in Asia.
“Student exchanges like this have the potential to change students’ lives by broadening their experience and expanding their horizons. Furthermore, this year Wintec and Chengdu University are celebrating the tenth anniversary of our relationship so it’s particularly pertinent to see our students benefit from this successful relationship,” he says.
The Prime Minister’s Scholarship for Asia is funded by the New Zealand Government and administered by Education New Zealand. The scholarship programme has been running for five years and has seen more than 1,500 students awarded scholarships to Asia.