Friday, 09 March 2012
Nine Bhutanese students have traded their remote, mountainous homeland to study at Challenger Institute of Technology, as recipients of prestigious Endeavour Award scholarships from the Australian Government.
The students will study across a wide range of areas, including engineering, horticulture, conservation and land management and environmental science.
Challenger Institute's Chief Executive Officer, Liz Harris, said Challenger was thrilled to have such a large cohort from Bhutan that would bring further diversity to the international student body.
"Challenger has much to offer these students, both in an educational sense and also in the larger context of a global learning experience. I hope our Bhutanese students are able to make the most of the opportunities on offer and I expect we will learn a great deal from them as well."
"The Endeavour Awards are highly competitive, with each student here on their merits, and we are proud to host them," Ms Harris said.
"We are fortunate to have an extremely diverse international student body at Challenger. Students are attracted to our wide range of courses, passionate lecturing staff and embedded hands-on experiences in many study programs. All this contributes to good employment outcomes."
Sithup Zangmo is studying a Diploma of Laboratory Technology as part of the Endeavour Scholarship scheme at Challenger's Murdoch campus.
She has taken two and half years study leave from her job in Bhutan's capital city Thimphu, where she works as a laboratory technician in a hospital.
Sithup said that without the scholarship she could not afford to study in Australia.
"My brother received a scholarship to study in Australia and he suggested I try for one too."
When Sithup returns to her job in Bhutan, her Challenger qualification could help her to step into a supervisory or management role.
"It is very different to Bhutan because the technology used in Australia is really up to date compared to back home."
"As part of the course we have lecturers from St John of God Hospital. I am really enjoying this semester, as all my units have a medical focus," Sithup said.
She said that while she sometimes feels a long way from Bhutan, her husband is also in Perth and there are also large Bhutanese communities in Bentley and Wembley, where she currently resides.
Ms Harris said Challenger employed great international student support staff who assist students in finding their feet in a new country.
"They are great at helping students navigate daily life issues and help to keep them on track with their studies."
The Endeavour Awards program is the Australian Government's internationally competitive, merit-based scholarship program for citizens of the Asia Pacific, Middle East, Europe and the Americas to undertake study, research and professional development in Australia.
- About Challenger Institute
- Australian Endeavour Scholarship Leads to Aviation Career
- Endeavour VET Awards (www.deewr.gov.au)