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New horizons for UNSW’s Westpac Asian exchange scholars

Three UNSW students have been awarded prestigious Westpac Bicentennial Foundation Asian Exchange Scholarships, allowing them to study for up to a year at a leading Asian university.

Janet Shen, Lucy Qiu and Cecilia Chang are among 37 students chosen for the program, which, along with financial assistance, provides students with leadership development, networking, internship and volunteering opportunities in their chosen culture.

Shen, who is studying a Bachelor of International Studies at UNSW, is heading to Peking University in Beijing in August 2017 to develop a deeper understanding of the different cultures and subcultures within China, and how these relate to her degree.

“I saw that the scholarship provided amazing opportunities to deepen my cross-cultural understanding and to develop a range of skills applicable to my academic, personal and professional life. I felt it would be a great way to enhance my exchange experience,” says Shen.

“In 2016 I had a stint working in China so I hope to either reconnect with the team there for another project, or to intern at another location in addition to my studies.

“I’m really excited to work with such a great bunch of scholars and I hope to make the most out of the opportunities that this scholarship provides,” Shen says.

Qiu is in her second year of Software Engineering and Commerce at UNSW and will attend Hong Kong University on her Westpac Asian Exchange Scholarship.

“I was very happy to receive the scholarship and I’m excited to meet the other scholars. During my exchange, I aim to see how the business world works in Asian cities, particularly Hong Kong and Singapore, which are beacons for growth and development,” says Qiu.

This round of scholarship recipients will be the first to participate in a 12-month bespoke leadership development course, valued at $2,500, which is a new addition to the scholarship.

Co-created with Common Purpose, a global leader in cross-boundary leadership development, the program will include cultural intelligence training and a four-day residential in Singapore, as well as ongoing mentoring and support through Westpac Asia.

According to Susan Bannigan, CEO of the Westpac Bicentennial Foundation, the bespoke leadership development program adds to the uniqueness of this scholarship.

“The Westpac Asian Exchange Scholarship is more than just an exchange scholarship. It’s a program that identifies and supports undergraduates who want to actively contribute to Australia’s success in Asia,” Bannigan says.

“Beyond financial support, the scholarship provides recipients with experiences, leadership development and ongoing networking opportunities, so they are better equipped to reach their full potential in their chosen fields.”

All 37 students will also gain lifelong membership of the Westpac 100 Scholars’ alumni. The Westpac Asian Exchange Scholarship is one of five scholarships offered through the Westpac Bicentennial Foundation.

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