New Zealand offers 24 scholarships

IT has been almost two years since Klyss Gia Cabañero graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Communication.

Barely six months since finishing college, Cabañero took a diploma in Professional Education. She then passed the 2017 Licensure Examinations for Teachers.

Cabañero, though, has yet to show signs of stopping, let alone slowing down on her road to further her education.

The 23-year-old is looking for scholarship applications abroad, particularly in Australia and New Zealand.

“I’m really fascinated with these countries because they have beautiful landscapes, and very warm and friendly people. My grandfather lives in Australia that’s why I’m certain that I will feel at home in either of these countries if I get to study there,” she told SunStar Cebu.

Cabañero may soon find herself filling application forms for New Zealand as the country is now opening its doors for interested scholars for 2019.

The New Zealand Government, through its Aid Programme, has opened applications for study in 2019 last Feb. 1. It’s open to eligible candidates from the public, private and civil society sectors until March.

The scholarship will cover full tuition, living expenses, establishment allowance and medical and travel insurance to and from the Philippines.

Yearly, some 24 qualified individuals are awarded scholarships to pursue post-graduate degrees in the country.

There are at least 4,000 Filipino students, including its scholars, currently studying in the country.

Degrees offered

In a separate interview with SunStar Cebu, Anton Ojala, division manager of the Global Development and Scholarship Division, said this is their way of helping develop bright leaders.

The degrees offered focus on agriculture, disaster risk reduction management, renewable energy, private sector development, and public sector leadership.

For 2019, New Zealand prefers to accept applicants from the Visayas and Minadanao regions.

Ambassador David Strachan said that around 95 percent of their applicants are from Luzon, creating an “imbalance” in awarded scholars.

“In line with the (President Rodrigo) Duterte administration’s design to create a balanced economic development, we would also like to play our part in giving good, caliber students a chance ti realize their potentials,” he said.

To qualify, applicants should be at least 18 and not more than 39 years old at the start of their scholarship. They should have at least two years of work experience, including internship and volunteer work. They should also agree to return to the Philippines for at least two years upon completion of study.

“We want them to go back home and take what they’ve learned in New Zealand to contribute in the development of their country,” Strachan said.

The applications are online. Applicants will have to submit a copy of their transcript of records for the preliminary screening.

The scholars will be selected through a competitive process to ensure that they will be able to adapt and excel at educational institutions in New Zealand, Ojala said.

Applicants may visit the New Zealand Embassy in Manila or check its Facebook page.