UQ Westpac Asian Exchange Scholarship recipients, from left, David Nyeste, Vincent Singer, Sunny van der Berg, Lachlan Walters and Hai Xia Wang-Pole.
UQ Westpac Asian Exchange Scholarship recipients, from left, David Nyeste, Vincent Singer, Sunny van der Berg, Lachlan Walters and Hai Xia Wang-Pole.
3 August 2017

Six University of Queensland students have been awarded Westpac Bicentennial Foundation Asian Exchange Scholarships.

The $12,000 bursaries fund students to spend a semester studying at a leading Asian university.

UQ’s recipients this year are: Hai Xia Wang Pole, Sunny van den Berg, Lachlan Thomas-Walters, Vincent Slinger, David Nyeste and John Atherton.

Arts/Law student Ms van den Berg said she hoped to gain a cross-cultural perspective of international relations during her time at the University of Hong Kong (HKU).

“I look forward to learning about international relations through a different lens, and gaining a better understanding of the complex relationships between Australia and Asia,” she said.

“I’ll be exposed to different cultures and ideas, and I will be encouraged to push myself to succeed, learn from other’s experiences, and challenge myself to become a better leader.”  

Mr Nyeste, a mathematics/commerce student who will also study at HKU, said he looked forward to developing his cultural awareness.

“Apart from my interest in Asia, the main consideration was continuing my studies at a university as prestigious as UQ, and HKU is one of the highest-ranked universities in the Australasian region,” he said.

”I hope to come back to Australia as a more open, more culturally intelligent person, with great memories that will stay with me for a lifetime.”

Mr Thomas-Walters, an arts and law student who will study at Shanghai’s Jiao Tong University, aims to improve his Mandarin language skills.

“I hope to learn as much as I can about Chinese culture, get out of my comfort zone, meet new people and embrace a different lifestyle,” he said.

Ms Wang Pole, an arts student majoring in International Relations and Chinese, will study at Beijing’s Peking University.

She said the scholarship would give her opportunities for networking and for connecting to her family’s roots.

“This scholarship has allowed me to connect with people who have similar passions, to expand my leadership skills and meet a vast range of fascinating people,” she said.

“As a half-Chinese person, I’m excited to find ‘home’ while in China, and to properly connect with a culture and a language that I’ve felt so familiar with, yet so detached from.”

Mr Slinger, a civil engineering student who will study at the National University of Singapore, said he hoped for invaluable professional development experience.

“The scholarship will broaden my horizons and give me a fantastic learning experience that I may never have experienced otherwise,” he said.

The students will participate in a range of extra-curricular activities in Asia, including leadership programs, internships, work experience and volunteering.

About 600 UQ undergraduate students spend a semester or more studying overseas each year, thanks to scholarships and the UQ Abroad program.

Contact: Jan McCreary, UQ Abroad manager, jan.mccreary@uq.edu.au, +61 7 3365 2852.