Junior multimedia production major Jayne Burnett was recently awarded a $500 scholarship from Education New Zealand to study abroad for the spring semester at Victoria University of Wellington. Burnett was chosen as one of 13 U.S. scholarship winners for 2017 from a group of 104 applicants. Recipients were selected based on academic excellence, communication skills and the goals they intend to pursue while studying abroad.
As a recipient of this award, Burnett will serve as a Kiwi Ambassador for future study abroad students by periodically posting directly from Education New Zealand’s Instagram account (@studyinnewzealand) to its 17,000 followers. She will also update her personal blog that highlights her studies, cultural experiences and new friendships during her time abroad.
“New Zealand is such an astounding country because geographically, there’s so much to it,” said Burnett. “It’s only roughly the size of Colorado, but between the North and South islands, you can find everything from mountains, glaciers, fjords and forests to volcanoes and beaches.”
While Burnett is greatly looking forward to the natural beauty she will be surrounded by, she is most looking forward to experiencing the culture and ways of life that New Zealand has to offer. “There’s a big travel bug going around right now, like exploring the world is simply the latest trend but will soon go out of style. While it’s great people are getting out and seeing new things, so many of them simply want the coolest Instagram pictures and never actually learn anything about other cultures. The things they do learn are never woven into everyday life, only dusted off once in a while. Studying abroad is a commitment to being part of a new culture for five months. It’s a trade-off between your comfort zone and gaining new vantage points. I think my time in New Zealand will give me invaluable things that will become ingrained into who I am.”
This is the fourth round of travel awards offered by Education New Zealand in partnership with Generation Study Abroad, an initiative launched in 2014 by the Institute of International Education to double the number of American students who study abroad by the end of the decade. Education New Zealand has provided more than 19 scholarships to U.S. students since 2014.