Jesse Nolan is back in Newcastle after what he calls an ‘experience of a lifetime’ overseas.
He was one of three University of Newcastle (UON) students to win the Australian Government’s prestigious New Colombo Plan scholarship in its pilot year, 2014.
Worth up to $67,000 each, the scholarships were awarded to 40 of the nation’s most talented undergraduate students.
The New Colombo Plan is intended to be transformational, deepening Australia’s relationships in the Indo-Pacific region, both at the individual level and through expanding university, business and other stakeholder links.
“You’re an Australian ambassador – you’re establishing people to people links; bringing Australia and its neighbours closer together” Jesse explained. “It’s also not just about how the scholarship affects you personally. We’re educating our generation to be culturally aware, especially about Asia”.
“My worldview has broadened”.
With a Bachelor of Science and Chemistry (First Class Honours) already under his belt and currently studying a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours), Jesse spent six months at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore. The high-achiever made his mark in the island country – winning SG$10,000 in a competition run by NTU’s start up entity – NTUitive, and Intel, with his air quality monitoring prototype.
“It sounds very full on, and it is, but even if you’re not purely academic, if you can demonstrate you’re a leader, that you have a willingness to engage in other cultures and establish links and ties back to Australia then go for it,” Jesse says of his experience.
New Colombo Plan 2016 scholarships are now open for application. There are 100 on offer to 38 destinations throughout Asia. Application close 17 May.