Victoria students off to Latin America

Students from Victoria University have received five of the 11 individual Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Latin America awarded in the latest round.

The scholarships were announced today by Tertiary Education Minister Hon Paul Goldsmith. The five Victoria University students, four of whom are past or present students of the School of Languages and Cultures, will use the scholarships to undertake study or internships in Brazil, Peru, Columbia, Argentina and Mexico.

A plane high in a blue and cloudy sky, reflected in a sky scraper.

The scholarships were established last year to build New Zealand’s connections with Latin America. Victoria’s Assistant Vice-Chancellor (International), Julia Innocente-Jones has welcomed Victoria’s success in this year’s round, given the importance the University places on Latin America. She says the scholarships will enable students to strengthen their knowledge of, and connection to, the region.

Earlier this year Victoria was selected as the lead institution for two Centres for Asia-Pacific Excellence (CAPEs), one dedicated to Latin America and the other to South East Asia. As well as teaching about and researching these countries, the goal of the CAPEs is to help learners, exporters and government agencies improve their understanding of countries and their languages.

In addition to the 11 individual students, one group of 10 students has been selected in the second round of 2016/17 scholarships which have a total value of $233,332.

The Victoria scholarship winners are:

  • Laura Wilson, who will study at Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico, for four months. Laura says she has always been fascinated by other cultures and what we can learn from people from different areas of the world. She is studying towards a Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Anthropology and International Relations.
  • Zac Thomas, who will work for the Colombian Government as an intern for 10 weeks, based in Medellin. Zac’s work will involve research and helping to develop government policy. He is studying towards a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Arts, majoring in International Relations, Economics and Spanish.
  • Ed Haslam, who will work as an intern in Peru for three months at Digiscend, a software development company in Lima, while also taking a Spanish language course. Ed is studying towards a Bachelor of Science with Honours degree in Computer Science and Economics.
  • Victoria Beck, who will study international relations at PUC-Rio University in Brazil for a year. She also plans to study Portuguese and do some voluntary work. Originally from Germany, she is studying towards a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations, Spanish, and Latin Studies.
  • Lucy McLean who is going to Buenos Aires for three months to work as an intern for Top Hat Producciones, a small start-up music business. She will also study Spanish. Lucy is doing a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Development Studies.