Chloe Wilkinson, a GUC student in her second year of CQUniversity’s Bachelor of Education (Primary) course will jet-set to India in January. Chloe has recently been awarded the opportunity to take part in an international service learning experience funded by the Federal Government’s New Colombo Plan Student Mobility Grant scheme.
The New Colombo Plan program is open to Australian university undergraduates up to 28 years of age. CQUniversity selected the Geraldton local as one of only 20 School of Education students nationwide – and the only WA student to undertake the 2017 program. The grant scheme is providing $3000 to go towards Chloe’s travel and accommodation expenses for the two-week study trip.
“10 students will be going to Cambodia and 10 to India. In my application I selected both and was awarded the trip to India,” explained Chloe, “I’m so excited I can’t even begin to explain it! My grandfather migrated from India and I will be the first in my family to go back there.”
The New Colombo Plan program has been designed to foster knowledge of the Indo-Pacific region in Australian students. The main focus of this trip will be to work with Indian teachers and students at a number of schools, exchanging information and ideas about respective curriculums, pedagogies and cultures.
“We will be going to the state of Gujurat and working with the Centre for Environment Education in the capital Ahmedabad,” Chloe said. “It is imperative that being a future educator I gain a comprehensive understanding of other cultures and how different people’s practices and beliefs impact communication, negotiation and problem solving. Being in a foreign country will allow me to consider the cultural differences and enable me to reflect on my own attitudes and beliefs.”
The whirlwind study trip will also include a number of diverse and unique experiences and Chloe cannot contain her excitement at being awarded this opportunity. “We have so many cool activities planned for us, like field trips, workshops, lessons in Guratji, learning about the Indian caste system and going to Gandi’s Ashram and a kite flying festival.”
Chloe will need to fundraise a further $2300 to cover costs of the travel not covered by the Grant scheme (including return travel to Sydney to get on the flight to India) and is seeking support from the Mid-West community. Donations can be made by contacting GUC on 9920 4400 or by emailing email@example.com