Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Latin America

The Prime Minister’s Scholarship for Latin America (PMSLA) is a programme funded by the New Zealand government and administered by Education New Zealand.

The April 2018 round is now closed. The Sept 2018 round will open approximately 8 weeks before the 30th September deadline. Please note: the Prime Minister's Scholarship for Asia and Latin America application deadlines will merge from September 2018. The new application deadlines will be: 30th Sept (round 1) and 30th March (round 2).

The scholarship aims to:

  • strengthen New Zealand institutions’ connections with their counterparts in key Latin America countries
  • promote understanding of the strength and quality of New Zealand’s education system and raise awareness in Latin America of New Zealand as a preferred education destination
  • improve the international skills of the New Zealand workforce
  • strengthen people to people connections between New Zealand and countries in Latin America through participants building lifelong friendships and networks.
  • strengthen New Zealand’s ability to engage with key Latin American trading partners
  • improve New Zealanders’ understanding of Latin American business practice and culture

To view the current scholarship guidelines, please click here

Latest scholarship recipients:

Eve Bain in Colombia

“I have only had positive experiences – the people are some of the friendliest I have ever met and the culture is so vibrant and rich. I am really proud of my progress, I have improved my Spanish so much that I am fairly fluent.” -Eve Bain, Kiwi student in Colombia

The scholarship is awarded to individuals and currently covers the following costs relating to study, internship or research in Latin America: 

1.Individuals on exchange, internship or other independent programmes

  • Tuition fees of Latin American institutions only – not NZ institution fees
  • Brokerage fees of Internship providers
  • Return economy class flights NZ-Latin America - NZ$3,500
  • Contribution towards living and accommodation costs of $250 for each week actively on programme in Latin America (if not covered by the internship brokerage fee)
  • Medical and travel insurance (mandatory - click here for a list of insurance requirements)
  • Visa and/or vaccine fees of $200

2. Individuals on group programmes

  • Tertiary Education Organisations and approved organisations may apply to the PMSLA to fund a group (3+) to travel together to Latin America on a specified programme that meets PMSLA goals
  • Group programmes are applied for separately under the PMSLA, and have their own application and reporting requirements. Individuals on a group programme must meet specified criteria 
  • An individual’s costs are covered as above, plus additional funding of up to $20,000 per group application may be applied for to cover group-related costs.  


Preference is currently for applicants undertaking appropriate programmes in Colombia and Brazil. Other Latin American countries such as Mexico, Chile, Argentina and Peru are also included. Individuals or groups may check with ENZ if preferred destination institution is not listed as having a formal relationship with a New Zealand institution. It may still meet requirements. 

You can find out more about institutions in Latin America, and where they are ranked in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, by visiting their website. You can also view the full list here

For more information on institutions and programmes, please email


Recipients must spend 4 weeks actively on programme in Latin America, up to a maximum of two years. 


Applicants must propose programmes that can be demonstrated to be linked to New Zealand’s education, economic or trade agenda in Latin America, and may include business, social sciences, the creative arts and culture, indigenous studies, ICT/new media.]  Programmes can be either:

  1. An undergraduate or postgraduate part or whole programme in a relevant subject area at an approved institution. Exchange programmes are included here.  
  2. Study programmes must be a minimum of 30 hours per week. This could be a combination of class time and self-directed study. 
  3. A full-time internship (minimum 30 hours per week) of between 4 to 12 weeks, see here for a list of suggested internship providers and brokers. If the internship is part-time, it must be combined with a concurrent programme of study [eg language study] that brings total hours to 30 hours per week. Internships for longer than 12 weeks may be considered. 
  4. Education, trade or economic-related research or development including development/research for intending or existing teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, to target countries, including cooperative or independent research at educational institutions, libraries and other facilities. Research applicants must be currently enrolled at a New Zealand tertiary institution.


At the date of application candidates must be at least 18 years old and be New Zealand citizens or Permanent Resident holders.


Individual applications

Applications are now closed for the April 2018 round. Applications for the next round closing 30 September 2018 round will open approximately 8 weeks before the next deadline. Please note, this is a change from the previous rounds where the PMSLA application deadline was 30 October. 

To complete this application, you will need to upload the following documents:

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Proof of Citizenship for every country for which you hold citizenship and/or proof of Permanent Residency status
  • Officially verified Academic Transcripts for up to three tertiary level qualifications (equivalent to level 5 and above). If you have not completed a tertiary qualification, you will need to upload documentation of your highest secondary qualification if it has been completed within the past three years.

You will also need to provide the names and emails of two referees to request references, one of which should be an academic reference.

Group applications

New Zealand Tertiary Education Organisations and approved organisations may submit group application/s for scholarship support on behalf of students wishing to travel to target countries on exchange or study abroad programmes, or on specifically-tailored study programmes in Latin America. 

To apply on behalf of a group, please email to receive the online application link. 

Application deadlines

There are two PMSLA rounds a year. You will not be able to submit applications after the deadlines.

March Round: Applications must be submitted by 30 March (from the March 2019 onwards).

September Round: Applications must be submitted by 30 September (from Sept 2018 onwards). 

Selection criteria

Applicants who meet the eligibility criteria and whose programme clearly meets the goals of the scholarship, will additionally be expected to display academic strengths and personal attributes such as independence, initiative, maturity, and confidence . . . plus

  • The potential to succeed in academic study abroad
  • The ability to represent New Zealand (and, where relevant, their home institution) positively; particularly 
  • the quality of a New Zealand education experience
  • And most importantly - be willing and prepared to put into practice the aims of the scholarship. 

Useful resources

Language and study programmes

Previous scholarship recipients:

What's in it for me?