A unique opportunity to differentiate yourself with future employers and gain invaluable experience in the fastest growing and most exciting region of the world. 

Expressions of interest for the 2025 round of the New Colombo Plan Scholarship program are now open. Please see below for more information and to apply

  • What are the benefits of a New Colombo Plan scholarship? minus-thick plus-thick

    During your scholarship, you will immerse yourself in another culture while continuing study towards your UniSA degree. But an NCP scholarship is much more than a student exchange program; it’s an opportunity to set yourself apart not just as a top-performing undergraduate student but as an emerging leader with connections and experiences across the region.

    As well as undertaking 1 to 2 semesters of study at a university in your host country, you’ll undertake an internship (or internships) and have the option to study the local language. At the same time, you’ll network and build connections with leaders in government, business and civil society in the Indo-Pacific and deepen your knowledge of the region.

    After you return to Australia, you’ll join the active NCP alumni community to support future scholars, promote the NCP and continue to develop knowledge of and professional links with the Indo-Pacific.

  • What funding is included in a New Colombo Plan scholarship? minus-thick plus-thick

    An NCP Scholarship includes funding equivalent to up to $87, 000, including:

    • a monthly living allowance of $2,500 for the duration of your program (up to 19 months),
    • travel expenses to and from your host country of up to $2,500,
    • a $2,500 establishment allowance,
    • health and travel insurance,
    • tuition fees at the host institution of up to $10,000 per semester, and
    • language training course fees of up to $10,000.
  • Eligible host countries for NCP Scholarships minus-thick plus-thick

    Brunei Darussalam
    China, Republic of 
    Cook Islands
    Federated States of Micronesia
    French Polynesia
    Hong Kong SAR

    Marshall Islands
    New Caledonia

    Papua New Guinea
    Republic of Korea Samoa
    Solomon Islands
    Sri Lanka
    Taiwan ROC

  • Where can I go? minus-thick plus-thick

    You can study and undertake your internship in one or more of the 40 eligible countries. Although you can include more than one country in your program, you must have one primary location, which is the host location for which your scholarship is awarded. The study component and the overall majority of your scholarship program will be undertaken in the primary location. For example, you might complete your study program in Malaysia, but then undertake internships in Singapore and Hong Kong.

    You need to choose your primary location when you apply. When you’re thinking about which country to apply for, keep in mind that although there’s no official cap per country, limited number of scholarships are awarded for each country each year to ensure a diversity of host locations, and some countries are more popular destinations than others. This means that there will be higher competition for some countries than others.

    Generally, each year, the most popular destinations are Japan, Singapore, the Republic of Korea, and China. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t apply for one of these countries, but you should think carefully about why you want to go there – Is it really the most valuable place to undertake your program? What will you get out of studying and doing an internship there that you wouldn’t get elsewhere?


  • Am I eligible? minus-thick plus-thick

    To be considered for a nomination from UniSA, you must meet the following eligibility criteria:

    • be an Australian citizen,
    • not be a current citizen or permanent citizen of your proposed host country,
    • be enrolled in, at least until the end of the proposed study component of the scholarship program, an undergraduate degree at UniSA (including UniSA online),
    • be studying in a program where credit for the study component can be credited back into your UniSA degree (speak to your Program Director if you are unsure),
    • have a GPA of approximately 6.0,
    • be between 18 and 30 years (inclusive) for non-Aboriginal applicants, or between 18 and 35 years of age (inclusive) for Aboriginal applicants, on 1 January 2025,
    • not be a previous recipient of an NCP scholarship.
  • How can I apply? minus-thick plus-thick

    To apply for a New Colombo Plan scholarship, you must first be nominated by UniSA. 

    The first step in being nominated is to submit an Expression of Interest form. Expressions of Interest for the 2025 round are now open. 

    You should complete the EOI with as much detail as you can. This information will be used to select students for an interview, and the written EOI and the interview will then be used to select the final students for nomination.

    It is a highly competitive process and we receive around 90-100 EOIs each year, so make sure your EOI stands out!

    It’s important to remember that just having a high GPA alone is not enough. Think about what else sets you and your proposed program apart.

  • What are the selection criteria? minus-thick plus-thick

    If you are selected for a nomination, there will be four main criteria that your application is assessed on. During the nomination selection process, we’ll use the same four criteria as well as looking at your proposed program.

    Notice the weighting of each criteria – this reflects the relative importance placed on it by the NCP selection panel.

    The selection criteria are:

      1. Academic excellence at the tertiary level (25 per cent weighting)
        This is about more than just your GPA (although your GPA is important too); it also includes any non-graded achievements, e.g. academic awards or commendation, publications, selection for special projects etc. It also includes examples of excellent communication skills and higher-order cognitive and critical thinking skills.

      2. Adaptability and resilience (25 per cent weighting)
        This is about showing that you can adapt to change, thrive in new environments, and show resilience in the face of challenges. When writing your response, think about giving a concrete example or examples, focusing not just on what happened but on how you adapted and what you learned from this experience that you can apply in the future.

      3. Leadership and engagement in the community (25 per cent weighting)
        Notice how heavily weighted this criterion is. The NCP is about more than just academic excellence; you also need to demonstrate that you are actively involved in the community (the university community or the wider community), and that you can demonstrate leadership. Here, you might give examples from volunteering and not-for-profit roles/activities you participate in. This could include sporting teams, university clubs or associations etc. As well as giving an example, think about how this example shows leadership.

      4. Ability to contribute to NCP Strategic Objective and outcomes (25 per cent weighting)
        You need to show that you understand what the NCP is about (and it’s not just about paying you to go and study overseas!) and that you’ve thought about how you and your proposed program will contribute to these goals, both during your program and after you return to Australia.

        The Strategic Objective of the NCP is to strengthen Australia’s regional standing by building a diverse cohort of Australian alumni with deeper Indo-Pacific knowledge, capability and connections.

        The intended outcomes of the NCP are:
    1. Increase the number and diversity of Australian university undergraduates with Indo-Pacific capability
    2. Deepen people-to-people and institutional relationships between Australia and the Indo-Pacific region, and
    3. Students and alumni connected with leaders in government, business and civil society in the Indo-Pacific

    Both during the nomination stage and the application stage, you’ll also be asked to outline your proposed program. Although you won’t have any firm plans yet, start thinking about:

    • where you want to go (remember: some destinations are more competitive than others),
    • why you want to go there,
    • which university you would study at (although the host institution doesn’t have to be a UniSA partner, our partners are a good place to start – have a look here for a list of our exchange partners),
    • how long you would go for,
    • whether you would do language training or not and why,
    • what kind of internship(s) you would do and possible companies/organisations you would look at for these, and
    • how does your proposed program (the study and internship components) fit with your long-term goals?
  • What happens if I am nominated for a scholarship? minus-thick plus-thick

    If you are selected as one of UniSA’s nominated students, you will then be invited to submit a formal application to the NCP Secretariat at DFAT.

    In the written application, you’ll also address each of the four selection criteria and outline your proposed program. We will provide assistance and feedback on your drafts to assist you with your written application.

    You’ll also need to arrange for two referees (including at least one academic referee) to provide referee reports, and you’ll need to have your intended study component approved by your Program Director. If you intend to study at a UniSA exchange partner, your study component will be arranged by our student exchange team, but if you select a non-partner, you will need to make contact with the host university to confirm that you can study there.

    You will also need confirmation from your Program Director that you can get credit for your study at the host institution back into your UniSA degree, so it’s a good idea to start discussing your options for this with your Program Director as early as possible.

    After the written application, DFAT will shortlist students for an online zoom interview by a specialist panel. We’ll also help you prepare for your interview with workshops and mock interviews

    Around November, the scholarship winners will be notified and then there will be an official awards ceremony and media release to officially announce the winners.

  • How many NCP Scholarships does UniSA normally win? minus-thick plus-thick

    UniSA students have successfully won NCP Scholarships every year since the NCP pilot round in 2014. We typically have 3 or 4 successful applicants each year, and in the 2024 round, had four successful applicants. Find out more about UniSA’s previous winners.

  • Where can I get more information? minus-thick plus-thick

    Register for an online information session to find out more about NCP, the application process, and to have your questions answered!

    You can also contact Matthew Holding, Coordinator: International Relations at international.relations@unisa.edu.au or on 8302 0933 if you have any questions or would like to discuss your Expression of Interest.

    You can also visit the DFAT NCP website or check out these videos on Youtube:


    NCP Scholar Stories

    NCP Your Questions Answered


    What are you waiting for?

    Submit your Expression of Interest now!