250+ CQU students granted opportunity of a lifetime
WORDS could not describe the experience education student Rebecca Mason had working with children in Central Asia
After a significant funding boost form the Federal Government, Central Queensland University announced hundreds more students could experience these enriching trips just like Rebecca.
The $1.4m funding boost would enable 273 CQU students to participate in unique study abroad opportunities in Asia next year as a part of the New Colombo Plan.
Rebecca said her two-week trip to India through the program in 2016 amplified her passion for teaching and taught her the importance of quality education.
The funding provided a 213% total increase on funding from last year and a 187% increase in CQU funded places which took students to Nepal, India, Cambodia and China.
CQU Vice-Chancellor Professor Scott Bowman said the New Colombo Plan gave students the opportunity to get out of their comfort zone and gain insight into other cultures
It also gave students the opportunity to practise their skills and offer their talent to people of other nations.
"Whether it's helping to empower women, or disrupting poverty or providing health clinics or engineering design solutions, our CQU participants are always keen to step up to the mark," he said.
"Some of our students will be involved with language and cultural exchanges, while others will be assisting with sustainable development projects.
"These experiences will make them more adaptable when they reach the workforce."
CQU will lead 12 other Australia universities who will join them on The Re-imagining India program and a multidisciplinary program to China.
A joint program between education, arts, engineering, nursing and midwifery students will also visit Cambodia after a successful year in 2016.
Previous health students who visited Indo-Pacific engaged in building projects including care-giving and nursing in an aged-care hospice, facilitating health camps in disadvantaged communities and providing child health assessments and school sessions.
CQU education students have previously formed friendships with Asian teachers and students, shared information about the different nation's curricula and helped students learn English.
They also helped the local communities fundraise for school desks and educational supplies.
Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry said the expanded New Colombo Plan launched by the Coalition Government in 2014 would provide CQU students with unprecedented opportunities to learn and form connections in important cultural settings.
"As our region increasingly looks to Asia for economic partnerships, these experiences will create a generation of graduates who are ready and able to take on the challenges of global economic integration," she said.
"The networks and professional growth opportunities will benefit students as they move forward in their careers, and benefit our region by enhancing collective knowledge of our key market areas."