New Colombo Plan 2

What a fantastic privilege to be a recipient of a Federal Government New Colombo Plan Mobility Scholarship. If you get the chance to apply for this one I can’t recommend it highly enough!

We had a brilliant and jam-packed two weeks in Singapore, arriving back yesterday morning. The trip was delayed somewhat, due to a change in the staffing, but this made it all the more exciting and engaging.

My fellow NCP travellers were fabulous and I’m so grateful to now call each of them ‘friend’! We shared a great many things with each other from meals, quite a few beers and loads of our ideas – talking politics, economics, finance as well as life in general. I’m sure we’re all going to go off and change the world of business in the future.

I got to know my 5 companions quite well and I’m looking forward to taking some tiger beers to the catch up in a few months!

The trip had two aspects, each as rewarding as the other.

Academically, We were afforded access to high profile businesses and a university for insights into the country & education system, as well as noting the differences to our own business and governance.

Personally, it was the most adventurous and exhilarating experience to date for me. I ate local foods at the hawker markets#; I hiked through a jungle forest to walk among the treetops; rode a Segway, monorail, luge, riverboat, sky-lift and the MRT; networked comfortably with business leaders and made some LinkedIn connections within Asia; listened to other ideas that challenged what I thought I knew, and then changed my mind; and, most importantly, tried to experience everything, including durian*, so I could get a first hand feel for this great city.

But it wasn’t all fun & games, besides the fact there was no bacon there, the next step is to write the report. The will focus on highlighting the differences between Australia and Singapore and identifying areas for change for either country, if required.

It will be the last thing I do at FedUni though… After 1.5 years at FedUni as a student and part of the leadership program I’m leaving the uni, but not UniLife… I’ve been accepted into Melbourne University and will begin as a first year student on 3 March 2015. My parents are stoked, Dad thinks I’m going to ‘hogwarts’ ☺️, and I’m equal parts nervous, excited, proud and comfort eating bacon and blue cheese. It’s going to be a most excellent adventure… Wish me luck!

-C

# hawkers markets sell goods (total bargains) as well as a huge range of food. The stands are small and run by people who had mad skills in the kitchen. The food is super cheap and fresh & delicious (9/10). Some of the things we had were: noodles with egg for breakfast; tea with condensed milk; char siew pork noodles with wantons and Bok Choy; gyoza; pork bone (rib) soup; egg fried rice with dumplings; traditional chicken rice; and my favourite: cheese infused naan bread with butter chicken dipping sauce… Best. Naan. Ever.

* I’m not sure if I got a bad piece but durian smells like rubbish bin and tasted like cold, 3 day old Irish stew with the texture of thick stale custard. It took a 500ml fresh coconut juice & jalapeño infused chicken noodles for lunch to give my tastebuds back their will to live.

But it was one of the experiences of the trip and totally worth it.

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