When QUT student Matthew Page arrived home to Australia late last year after a 15-month study trip to Malaysia, the first thing he did was book a flight back to Kuala Lumpur for after his graduation this July.
Matthew, who is studying international business with the QUT Business School, spent two semesters at Taylor’s University and also completed a three-month internship with the Malaysia Australia Business Council during his time abroad.
“I came back to do my final semester at QUT but then I’m heading straight back to Malaysia after I graduate to catch up with my friends and colleagues and explore work opportunities,” he said.
Matthew’s study trip was part of the Australian Government’s prestigious New Colombo Plan Scholarship Program, which provides opportunities for Australian undergraduate students to study and intern in 40 participating Indo-Pacific locations.
He is one of 23 QUT students to be selected as New Colombo Plan Scholars selected from QUT over the past four years.
“I have lived overseas before and I loved the idea of being immersed in another culture again and the challenge of learning a new language,” said Matthew, who also speaks Indonesian.
“I lived in Indonesia with my family and did school in Bali from Year 5 to 12.
“When I heard about the New Colombo Plan scholarships I thought: This is something I’ve done before, I’ve lived in another country and I want to experience that again while I’m young and at uni.
“My time in Malaysia has fundamentally changed the way I think about my future career. I really do now see it as a global opportunity – I can work in Australia or overseas, and hopefully mix the two.”
Matthew said studying at Taylor’s University had been a wonderful experience and was backed up by valuable real-world training at the Malaysia Australia Business Council where his role focused on events management and marketing.
“A key component of my experience with the business council was the exposure I had working with the Australian High Commission, which has really helped shaped my career aspirations in diplomacy, foreign affairs and policy, and international trade,” he said.
After graduating from QUT on July 25 Matthew will also do an internship with Trade & Investment Queensland – the Queensland Government’s dedicated global business agency.
“I’ll be working on the Premier of Queensland's Export Awards where I will be consulting with businesses on their award applications,” he said.
“I hope this new internship will lead to opportunities in government departments like TIQ and Austrade. Ultimately, I aspire to one day join the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
“As long as I'm joining an organisation with a global mindset that will help strengthen the cross-cultural relationship between Australia and Asia, I'm sure to be satisfied!”
You can read more about Matthew’s Malaysian experience in this article he wrote for the business council’s Byline publication (see pages 18-19).
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