UWA two score prestigious international scholarships

Two undergraduates from The University of Western Australia are set to pursue their study dreams in Japan and South Korea after being named as 2023 New Colombo Plan Scholars.

UWA’s Kathleen Dwyer and Joshua Taylor were named as recipients of the prestigious scholarships.

Kathleen Dwyer and Joshua Taylor 2023 Columbo Scholars
Image: Asia bound, Colombo Plan Scholars 2023 Kathleen Dwyer and Joshua Dwyer.

The New Colombo Plan is an Australian Government initiative to improve knowledge by providing young Australians with scholarships to study and undertake internships in the Indo-Pacific region.

For 20-year-old Kathleen from Wembley Downs, who has just finished the second year of a double major in Japanese and History of Art at UWA, the New Colombo Plan has given her the chance to spend a semester each in Japan and South Korea.

“I’ll spend the first semester next year at Sophia University where I can concentrate on my Japanese language skills and then for the second semester, I will be at Seoul National University where I’ll use my elective units to explore contemporary life in Korea,” Kathleen said.

The former St Mary’s Anglican Girls’ School student, who loves painting and drawing and visiting art galleries and museums, said she was thrilled to be able to study abroad during her undergraduate degree.

“The people we’ll meet, the contacts we’ll be able to make and the new experiences we’ll be exposed to in terms of the people, the food and the culture, as well as being able to represent UWA and Australia, is exciting to think about,” she said.

Inspired by his time working overseas on super yachts in a gap year between school and university, UWA Bachelor of Science student Joshua Taylor, also plans to go to Japan, to attend Waseda University in Tokyo where he’ll complete the final semester of his degree.

“In the second semester I’m looking forward to being able to work full time on learning Japanese and both Kathleen and I are also working on organising internships,” Josh said.

The 22-year-old, who completed his schooling at John XXIII College in Mt Claremont, where he also lives, is majoring in Finance and Mechanical Engineering and hopes to work in investment banking in the future.

A self-confessed action sports nut who loves free diving, sky diving, motor cross, surfing and wake-boarding, Joshua also hopes to get in some skiing and snowboarding while in Japan.

“Really though it’s about soaking up as much knowledge and learning as much as we can, it’s an incredible opportunity which we really appreciate and I think we both really hope the contacts we make on this exchange will help in our future careers,” he said.

More information about the New Colombo Plan Scholarship program is available on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.