JCU students to get overseas experience

9 September 2015

More than 400 James Cook University students will have the opportunity to learn more about the Asia-Pacific region with the university receiving nearly $1.5 million in New Colombo Plan (NCP) funding.
The NCP is a Federal Government initiative designed to lift knowledge of our neighbouring countries by supporting Australian undergraduates’ study in the region.

JCU Medical School
JCU NCP students at an archaeological dig in Laos (Photo credit: JCU)

JCU students will travel to Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and another eight destinations after the latest round of funding was announced—a $1.45 million tranche over the 2016–18 period.
The biggest single grant will see 102 fifth- and sixth-year medicine and dentistry students from JCU complete clinical placements in health facilities across Sri Lanka as part of their training.
JCU Mobility Manager from the Division of Global Strategy and Engagement, Linda Rust, said the scheme provides fantastic opportunities for students.
“They will be immersed in the language and culture, and will develop new international networks while gaining valuable work experience,” she said.
Funding is also included for 90 biology students to study in Malaysia’s Borneo jungle, and for 10 JCU Law School students to work with NGOs dispensing free legal advice in Cambodia.
James Cook University’s Professor Simon Robson from the Centre for Tropical Biodiversity & Climate Change and the Terrestrial Ecosystems group will coordinate the biology students’ overseas study. He said it can be a life-changing event for students, many of whom have never been outside of Australia before.
“We are leveraging the students’ interest in biology to give them a much broader view of what it means to live in the tropics. They go to look at orangutans, for instance, but very quickly find they have to also start considering deforestation, palm oil production and mobile phone use.”
Professor Robson said the university would continue to grow links with people and institutions in the region, as it had for a number of years.
“It fits very nicely with JCU’s goal of improving life for people in the tropics,” he said.
The placements will begin in January 2016.

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