Nicole was a recipient of the Prime Minister's Scholarship for Asia. These scholarships are awarded to Kiwis participating in a programme in Asia that will help strengthen New Zealand’s ties with Asian countries and improve the international skills of Kiwis. The scholarship enabled her to study at the National University of Singapore.
In 2016, I was very privileged to receive a Prime Minister’s Scholarship for Asia (PMSA) to help fund my exchange semester in Singapore. It is rather competitive to receive a PMSA so I feel very lucky. My PMSA gave me newfound motivation and new goals to drive towards. It allowed me to have a full experience in Singapore and I was also able to travel to other Asian countries to experience the culture in these places too.
I lived in Singapore for 5 months and my exchange experience there far exceeded my expectations. Before going, I was nervous and undecided about many aspects of my life. Coming out of my exchange, I have learnt a lot about myself and better know what I want to do in life and the kind of person I will strive to be. Singapore is such a unique country and I am lucky to have experienced living there. It really is where East meets West. Its geographical location sees Asian culture embedded in daily life but its youth as a country means it is a green, purpose-built metropolis. The university I attended (National University of Singapore) was the perfect exchange destination; warm and welcoming towards exchangers. Singapore quickly became a wonderful, new home for me.
Thanks to my PMSA, I feel I had a fulfilling, unrestricted experience in Asia. I simply have no regrets about any aspect of my exchange experience. The people I met I hope to be friends with for life and the places I visited I know I will visit again. I learnt so much academically, culturally, and personally. I would encourage other Kiwis with an interest in Asia and thinking about pursuing a programme there to seriously consider the PMSA. It undoubtedly helps to open doors for you as an individual and also for New Zealand.