What is the New Colombo Plan? The New Colombo Plan (NCP) is a signature initiative of the Australian Government which aims to lift knowledge of the Indo Pacific in Australia by supporting Australian undergraduates to study and undertake internships in the region.
It encourages a greater two-way flow of students between Australia and the rest of our region, complementing the thousands of students from the region coming to Australia to study each year. Over time, the Australian Government wants to see study in the Indo-Pacific become a rite of passage for Australian undergraduate students, and an endeavour that is highly valued across the Australian community.
The program commenced in 2014 and in the first four years is already supporting more than 17,000 Australian undergraduates to study in the Indo-Pacific. Over 3,000 of these students are undertaking NCP study experiences in Indonesia.
“As a result of this experience it has become very clear to me that my interests lie deeply with Indonesia and Indonesian culture. It has cemented for me my interest and desire to become an Indonesian teacher and hopefully inspire other students to feel as passionately about the Indonesian language and culture as I do. Likewise, due to my interest and love of language learning I hope to find and join an AIYA group (The Australian and Indonesian Youth Association) near my local area so that I can not only continue to increase my skills but form bonds and relationships with other people who share my common interests and goals.”
– Kara Menzies, 2014 Indonesia New Colombo Plan Scholar
What kind of study programs are supported by the New Colombo Plan? There are two forms of awards that you can receive through the NCP:
Scholarships: The NCP Scholarship Program provides opportunities for Australian undergraduate students to undertake semester-based study of up to one academic year, and internships or mentorships for up to six months in 38 locations across the Indo-Pacific, including Indonesia. The program is open to Australian undergraduates aged 18-28 currently studying at Australian universities. Around 100 scholarships are awarded per year. Australian universities nominate up to ten eligible students and those students are then invited to submit applications. Scholars are selected through a shortlisting and interview process.
Here is an example of an Australian student who undertook an NCP scholarship in Indonesia.
Ms Emma Roberts from the Australian National University was the inaugural Indonesia Fellow under the 2014 pilot of the NCP. Ms Roberts completed two semesters of study in Indonesia (at Universitas Gadjah Mada and Universitas Muhammadiyah Malang) towards her combined Bachelor of Asia-Pacific Studies/Bachelor of Laws degree. Ms Roberts also completed intensive Bahasa Indonesian language training and two internships (at the Australian Embassy in Jakarta and the Association of Indonesian Women for Justice (APIK)). Ms Roberts has participated in numerous NCP alumni events, including as the Master of Ceremonies for the launch of the 2017 NCP Mobility Program and the ACT Alumni Program. She was also accepted into the 2017 Graduate Program at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Of her scholarship, Ms Roberts said that the experience had been “life-changing beyond belief” and had the following to say:
“I feel that I have grown as a person in so many different ways and had the opportunity to appreciate and experience things that I never could have anticipated. Amongst other things I have been able to tackle my fear of public speaking by giving speeches at several NCP events, learnt to pack lightly and live simply, increased my tolerance level for disorganization, belatedness and lack of efficiency, drastically improved my Indonesian language ability and picked up a little bit of Javanese, climbed a few volcanoes and, probably most importantly of all, met many inspiring people. I’m a different person to who I was at the beginning of last semester and I really cannot express how important I believe it to be for all young people to experience living in a foreign country. It is only through encountering social, cultural, political and economical differences that we can learn to appreciate the opportunities offered to us in Australia, while simultaneously exploring new ways of living, thinking and developing.”
Mobility Grants: The NCP Mobility Program provides funding to Australian universities and consortia in the form of grants to support Australian undergraduate students to participate in semester-based or short-term study, internships, mentorships, practicums and research in 38 host locations across the Indo-Pacific, including Indonesia. Australian universities submit project applications to the Australian Government. The distribution and arrangement of these funds differ amongst universities, so be sure to ask your faculty or Study Abroad office if there are funds allocated to your university and if you are eligible. The Mobility Program is open to Australian university undergraduates aged 18-28, with capacity to include some students over 28.
Below are some examples of students who received NCP mobility grants to undertake study experiences in Indonesia.
An NCP mobility grant helped Paramedical Science student Tyler Cardy gain practical experience working in an Indonesian hospital. The placement allowed the Edith Cowan University student to embed cross-cultural communication skills while absorbing new clinical knowledge in a busy hospital environment. Thanks to his NCP experience, Tyler was well-equipped to transition into work after graduating. You can read about Tyler’s experience here.
The NCP completely changed Omar Elkharouf’s focus and career goals. Originally planning to travel to the Middle East, a region that the University of Sydney student was already familiar with, Omar instead undertook an internship with an environmental consulting company which Wesfarmers owned – GreenCap, in Jakarta, Indonesia. The experience soon changed the way he saw his future. Returning home to Australia, Omar decided to write his Honours thesis on environmental assessment reports within the context of Indonesia, using the company he interned with as a case study. And looking further ahead, he intends to take up the company’s offer of another, longer internship following the completion of his studies. You can read Omar’s story here.
Walter Mangold Trust Fund grants are available to study Indonesian language in country. Study Abroad scholarships are offered to full-time, advanced tertiary students (resident in Victoria) who travel overseas to study a designated language at an approved university for a period of between three months (minimum duration) and one year. The grants are worth between $5,000 and $20,000.
Only Australian higher education providers are eligible to apply for funding for international student exchange programs under the Endeavour Scholarships program. Students (Australian and international) wishing to apply for student subsidies available under these international student exchange programmes should contact the International/Student Abroad Office of their institution.
There is a program called the Endeavour Student Exchange Program for Australian undergraduates to study in Asian countries, including Indonesia. Eligible student exchanges include provision for tuition fee waiver and credit transfer. Australian higher education institutions receive A$5,000 (excluding GST) per exchange student to subsidise the cost of that student’s participation in an eligible student exchange.
Ask your local university for information if they have received these funds.
The Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships aim to build Australia’s reputation for excellence in the provision of education and research, support the internationalisation of the Australian higher education and research sectors and offer high-achieving individuals from overseas and Australia opportunities to increase their productivity and expertise in their field. Endeavour Research Fellowship
For more information about the details of these scholarships, please click here.
The Australia Indonesia Association of NSW (AIA) offers 2 scholarships to NSW high school students each year for an intensive 2-week Indonesian language course. The course includes daily tuition and real life tasks to practice what has been taught. It is held in Yogyakarta, Central Java, and is delivered by Indonesian teacher, Tata Survi, through AIA Victoria’s IndoAustay program. Course materials are aligned with the Australian and International Baccalaureate curriculum.
The Australia-Indonesia Institute (AII) invites applications from young Australians aged between 21 and 25 years (at the time of departure to Indonesia), willing to represent Australia for two months in Indonesia.
Darmasiswa is a non-degree scholarship program offered to those who wish to pursue study of Indonesian language, arts, music and crafts. Participants can choose one of 44 different universities located in different cities in Indonesia. Applicants must be 35 years of age or under.
The Victorian Government Hamer Scholarships Program is a language and cultural immersion program designed to build the Asia-engagement capabilities of Victorians and to help strengthen cultural awareness and partnerships between Victoria and Asia. The program provides scholarships for Victorians to undertake intensive language study at nominated universities or institutions in China, Indonesia, Japan and Korea. The Hamer Scholarships program provides $10,000 each for China or Indonesia, or $15,000 each for Japan or Korea.
If there’s a program, school, or opportunity you think we might have missed, let us know! Just send an email through to our Web Officer and we’ll take a look at it right away.