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New Colombo Plan scholarship in Fiji: a total immersion for Pearl Andrews

Bachelor of Indigenous Knowledge student Pearl Andrews at Lismore campus

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Published
24 January 2024

Can Indigenous and Pacific Islander knowledge help us combat climate change and strengthen Western legal systems?? Bachelor of Indigenous Knowledge student Pearl Andrews went on a mission to Fiji looking for answers.

Pearl’s trip has been proven fruitful so far. “I’ve absolutely loved my studies abroad in Fiji. The unique challenges and circumstances facing the Pacific have been very valuable to learn about for my degree. I’m an Australian who lives so close to the Pacific Islands yet previously knew next to nothing about them.”

“I’m an Australian who lives so close to the Pacific Islands yet previously knew next to nothing about them.”

Bachelor of Indigenous Knowledge student Pearl Andrews at Lismore campus

Along with Bachelor of Science student Yasmeen Daniels, Pearl was one of the recipients of the 2023 New Colombo Plan Scholarship Program (NCP). These Federal Government scholarships support Australian undergraduates to study and undertake internships in the Indo-Pacific region.

“I have connected with many international and local students, which has been so fun. I didn’t expect to meet so many people from around the world, and this has been a highlight for me. The University of the South Pacific (USP) is a melting pot of Pacific cultures and a hub for important conversations and regional meetings. I thoroughly enjoyed USP and the beauty of the Laucala campus,” said Pearl.  

Pearl Andrews during her stay in Fiji

Among the multiple highlights of Pearl’s internship was an expedition to the remote village of Nabukadra. “Visiting a village with my language teachers from the Retired Fijian Teachers Association (RFTA) was a highlight for me. Learning about the village’s recovery after Cyclone Winston destroyed many of the homes was inspiring.”

During her stay, Pearl also had the chance to enjoy Fiji’s breathtaking landscapes and rich culture while travelling with friends to several islands around the country.

Pristine water in Fiji credit Pearl Andrews

And that was just the first round! After a holiday break back home, Pearl is returning to the Pacific this month to do an internship with the Network for Indigenous Peoples Solomon Islands.

She is also exploring internship opportunities with Transcend Oceania and UNESCO.

Another batch of Southern Cross students, including Chloe Dunemann (Bachelor of Education), Nevenya Cameron (Bachelor of Laws and Creative Writing) and Caylin Nel (Bachelor of Science) are about to kick off their New Colombo adventure in South Korea and Fiji. We can’t wait to hear their stories!

“I have connected with many international and local students, which has been so fun. I didn’t expect to meet so many people from around the world, and this has been a highlight for me.”

Pearl Andrews during her stay in Fiji

 

New Colombo Plan Mobility Program 2023: Intercultural Communication for Business and Tourism in Singapore

Recently, a group of 18 students from Southern Cross University and The Hotel Schools spent two weeks in Singapore learning intercultural business and communication skills. The study trip included visits to various hospitality enterprises, language classes, historical tours and rural businesses, which gave students the opportunity to appreciate the diverse aspects of Singapore beyond its urban core.

New Colombo study trip to Singapore Oct 2023

“The trip was extremely beneficial to my learning experience as well as my career. I found myself referring to the Business communication modules when there were cultural barriers as well as networking through social media. I have created some awesome friendships and networks that I am grateful for,” said student Charlotte Cooper.

Learn more here about the study trip to Singapore.

Media contact

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