Paris scholarship will 'open doors'

Rebecca Grant hopes a $25,000 scholarship to do her masters degree in Paris, will open a career in global health governance and policy. Photo by Linda Robertson.
Rebecca Grant hopes a $25,000 scholarship to do her masters degree in Paris, will open a career in global health governance and policy. Photo by Linda Robertson.
Rebecca Grant has been awarded a $25,000 scholarship to study in Paris later this year, and while she is keen to jump on the next available plane, she has something else to take care of first.

During her undergraduate studies at the University of Otago, the 25-year-old completed an internship with the World Health Organisation in Geneva, Switzerland.

Since then, the part-time University of Otago tutor in the Department of Human Nutrition and School of Physical Education has worked for the Delegation of the European Union to New Zealand, and plans to gain field work experience in Ethiopia, working for an international health organisation, before heading to Paris in September to take up her scholarship.

The 2014 New Zealand France Friendship Fund Excellence Scholarship will allow her to study a masters of international development at the Sciences Po Paris School of International Affairs.

Miss Grant said the two-year programme, taken in both French and English, would focus on thematic concentrations in global health and environment.

The fund was established in 1991 by the French and New Zealand Governments. The former St Hilda's Collegiate head prefect, proxime accesit and ODT Class Act Award winner has two first class honours degrees from the University of Otago - a bachelor of applied sciences in nutrition, and a bachelor of arts in French.

University of Otago French programme co-ordinator Barbara Stone said there were few, if any, students from the French programme whom she could endorse more enthusiastically.

''Rebecca is the full package - an excellent student and an exceptional human being with admirable personal qualities.''

Miss Grant was delighted and honoured to receive the scholarship, and said it was an ''amazing bonus'' after being accepted to study at the Paris institution. Ultimately, she hoped for a career in global health governance and policy, and said the masters degree would set her on the path.

''I think it will open a lot of doors for me. It [the school] has a reputation for placing graduates in those careers,'' she said.