China calling: PM's Scholarships for Asia

Otago Polytechnic fashion student Emma Corbett (19) is heading to China next semester on a Prime...
Otago Polytechnic fashion student Emma Corbett (19) is heading to China next semester on a Prime Minister's Scholarship for Asia. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
China is beckoning an Otago Polytechnic student whose love of exotic designs led to her applying for a Prime Minister's Scholarship for Asia.

Second-year student Emma Corbett (19), studying for a bachelor's degree in fashion design, is one of three Dunedin-based students and graduates to receive individual scholarships in this round of funding.

The scholarship covers Ms Corbett's tuition fees for a semester, flights and living costs.

She will spend four months in Shanghai at Donghua University, taking five papers in fashion and two in marketing.

Ms Corbett was looking forward to learning calligraphy, and learning more about the country's art and history as well as clothes design, she said.

"I've only seen New Zealand's perspective on fashion; I'll see a whole different country's view on it.

"I just like the whole culture; it's really fantastic," she said.

The experience was new territory for the former Bayfield High School pupil, who grew up in Dunedin and said she had never really travelled before.

She was learning some basic Chinese to get ready, she said.

She would live in university accommodation, and thought she would be placed with other international students.

Ms Corbett helped out at iD Dunedin Fashion Week this year, dressing models, and last year launched her own range of jewellery out of an elective paper for her course.

Across the country, 180 scholarships were given out. Other Dunedin recipients are Otago Polytechnic graduate Ariane Bray and University of Otago student Rachel Mitchell, who is studying for a bachelor of arts degree.

Ten Otago Polytechnic students received a group scholarship to undertake a six-week design project in Hong Kong and Beijing.

Ms Bray will go to the Shanghai University of Engineering Science to study Chinese listening and conversation, and Ms Mitchell will travel to Fudan University - also in Shanghai - for a year.

Oxford University PhD student Ben Abraham, who completed his undergraduate studies in politics at the University of Otago, also received a scholarship to take a Chinese language programme at Hutong School in Beijing.

The Prime Minister's Scholarship for Asia is aimed at strengthening New Zealand's ability to engage with key Asian trading partners, as well as improving the skills ofthe workforce.

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