21 December 2021 at 1:27 pm

ENZ unleashes the potential of Prime Minister’s Scholarships alumni

More than one hundred New Zealanders with a passion for Asia and Latin America have come together to share experiences and make connections.

The first-ever event for alumni of the Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia and Latin America was hosted by Education New Zealand in November 2021.

The scholarships, administered by ENZ, enable New Zealanders to study, research or intern in Asia or Latin America. Since 2013, more than 2,400 group and individual scholarships have been awarded.

The virtual event – Hono Mai: a call to connect – drew together alumni from all walks of life, based in New Zealand and around the world.

They heard guest speakers from the Asia New Zealand Foundation and the Latin America New Zealand Business Council, held speed networking sessions in small groups on the EventsAir platform, and joined in challenges and trivia questions.

ENZ’s Global Citizens Manager, Carla Rey Vasquez, says the event was designed and driven by alumni, for alumni.

“Our global citizenship work aims to equip New Zealanders with the competencies to engage with the wider world, build connections with people from other countries and cultures, and take action on the things that matter to them.

“Alumni have so many rich, diverse relationships around the world which can be used to support and uplift each other. Hono Mai is about sharing those relationships to help alumni achieve their own goals within their own communities,” she says.

One of the alumni involved in organising the event was Robyn Scrimshaw, who studied Chinese law and language in Shanghai with a Prime Minister’s Scholarship for Asia in 2014.

“Everyone had such a great experience on the trip; the event was about bringing that magic together and connecting everyone’s experiences in one place,” she says.

Now working as an urban planner in Tauranga, Robyn still draws on her experience of “different perceptions of public and private spaces” in the Chinese cities she visited. 

Plans are underway for more networking events for Prime Minister’s Scholarships alumni in 2022.

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