New Colombo Plan Scholarship Program

What is the NCP Scholarship Program?

The New Colombo Plan (NCP) is a signature initiative of the Australian Government, which aims to lift knowledge of the Indo-Pacific region in Australia by supporting Australian undergraduate students to study and undertake internships in the region.

The NCP Scholarship Program objectives are to: 

  • provide around 120 prestigious and highly-competitive Scholarships to a diverse range of Australian undergraduates studying a breadth of disciplines;
  • support more study experiences in a broad range of Indo-Pacific locations;
  • encourage Scholars to undertake longer term study, language study and an Internship and/or Mentorship;
  • engage Scholars, Australian Universities and other stakeholders in public diplomacy and outreach; and
  • continue to develop an active Scholar alumni community for previous Scholars to share their experiences, promote the NCP and continue to develop knowledge of and professional links with the Indo-Pacific region.

The NCP involves a prestigious scholarship program for study of up to 19 months and prioritises opportunities for Internships and Language Training in addition to study. It is a fantastic opportunity for the successful scholars to take up the opportunity to study/intern overseas with generous funding and support provided by the Australian Government.

What can an NCP Scholarship provide?

An NCP scholarship can provide recipients with:

  • Travel allowance up to $3,000
  • Establishment allowance up to $3,000
  • Monthly stipend up to $3,000 per month
  • Mental health allowance up to $1,000
  • Tuition fees up to $20,000
  • Support for language training up to $10,000
  • Health and travel insurance for the duration of the scholar's program
  • Opportunities for private sector sponsorship
  • A dedicated case manager for the duration of the scholar's program, who provides services including pre-departure briefings, advice on health and travel insurance, advice and assistance relating to accommodation, and payment of allowances

In total students may get up to $87,000 for credit-bearing studies overseas and take part in internships, that span over a semester or up to 19 months (please note the sum varies for each selected NCP scholar depending on their NCP location and proposal). 

For more information on the NCP scholarship program, including Frequently Asked Questions and program guidelines, visit the DFAT website.

Why participate?

  • Enrich your education
    A New Colombo Plan scholarship is a valuable opportunity to contribute to your academic qualifications while traveling overseas. It is a chance to test your skills and gain a deeper understanding of a foreign culture and language, while gaining awareness and insight that may not otherwise be achieved in your studies at home in Australia. You may find after completing the program that you return to your studies at ANU with a fresh perspective and renewed energy.
  • Enhance your career opportunities
    International study experience within the Indo-Pacific region will add value to your academic record and CV and broaden your options for life after undergraduate study in Australia and abroad. Participation in an internship/mentorship during the program is strongly encouraged and could give you valuable work experience that may be looked upon favourably by prospective employers and graduate programs.

    Personal development
  • Participating in a New Colombo Plan scholarship could be very rewarding, character-building and eye-opening. It may help you gain independence, confidence, resourcefulness and problem-solving skills. You may also discover new interests and activities that you may not have found at home.
  • Strengthen ties within the region
    By participating in the NCP scholarship program you would be contributing to strengthening Australia's important relationships and professional networks within the Indo-Pacific region. This could help to enhance career prospects and postgraduate study options for Australian graduates.
  • Networking
    A New Colombo Plan scholarship is an opportunity to make new friends and colleagues and form networks within the Indo-Pacific region. The program is developing an active alumni community so that participants can share their experiences and ensure that connections made through the New Colombo Plan are long-lasting. The program aims to provide ongoing opportunities for New Colombo Plan alumni to engage with the region.
  • Culture and travel
    Studying overseas as part of the NCP is not just an academic opportunity but also a chance to experience first-hand the language, customs, architecture, monuments, terrain, food and music of your host country.

Information Sessions

Application workshops will also be held to help you prepare your application for submission. Please refer to the Global Programs website  for details on sessions.

Information Session TypeDay & TimeLocation

2025 New Colombo Plan Scholarship

Application Workshop - register here. 

Wednesday 24 April 2024

2:30pm - 3:30pm

Menzies Library - Mcdonald Room 

2025 New Colombo Plan Scholarship

Application Workshop #2 - register here.

Thursday 9 May 2024

12:00 - 1:00pm 

Online via zoom - Join here. 

2025 New Colombo Plan Scholarship

First Nations Application Workshop - register here. 

Register to attend online here. 

Thursday 2 May 2024

12:15pm - 1:15pm 

Tjabal Centre 




To be eligible to apply, the rules decided by DFAT stipulate you must be an Australian citizen, in at least your second year of undergraduate studies (Bachelor degree) when the scholarship commences, be between 18 and 30 years of age (inclusive) for non-indigenous applicants or between 18 and 35 years of age (inclusive) for indigenous applicants and have achieved a minimum 70% graded average for your undergraduate course at the time of application/nomination by ANU.

For more information on eligibility requirements, please refer to the NCP scholarship program guidelines on the DFAT website. Applicants must also be undertaking approved exchange or study abroad studies at eligible destinations for the NCP Scholarship round.

How to apply

Applications are open once a year and students should submit their application to ANU Global Programs on the Global Program System, before the deadline of 31 May 2024.

Round One - ANU selection process

i) In order to apply for an NCP scholarship, you must submit an application to ANUNCP applications for the 2025 round will be open between 1 May until 31 May 2024.

ii) Students must also submit an exchange application through the ANU Global Programs System or consider independant learning abroad studies at the same time as completing an NCP scholarship application. The proposed undergraduate studies must be credit bearing studies, which must be approved by the student's academic college(s).

Applications will be assessed and shortlisted by a panel of ANU staff. See the application guidelines below for information on putting together your application.


Round Two - DFAT selection process

If your Round One application is successful, you will be recommended to DFAT for consideration and you will receive application guidance. ANU Global Programs will liaise with short-listed candidates about how to best frame their applications.  The final selection process will be administered by DFAT, and shortlisted applicants will attend a face-to-face interview with a panel during September and October 2024. All successful and unsuccessful applicants will be notified of the outcome of the DFAT selection process in November 2024. Student's proposed activities will take place in the following year.


Application guidelines

  • Choose a country - Eligible host locations include: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Burma, Cambodia, China, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Hong Kong SAR, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kiribati, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nauru, Nepal, New Caledonia, Niue, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Vietnam. ANU has partner universities in some of these countries so you may choose to study at an ANU exchange partner university from the above list, or you can create your own study plan in a non-partner university from the above list and arrange to go as an independent study abroad student.
  • Choose a program - Choose a study program (courses) at the host institution, for which you will receive academic credit from your ANU academic college. Students must seek approval from thier academic colleges for their proposed undergraduate overseas studies, that the student has room in their degree to undertake studies overseas, that can count as credit bearing studies towards thier ANU undergradaute degree. The study period must commence as per DFAT guidelines. This will be between 1 January and end of December of the following year. Please see DFAT NCP guidelines.
  • Consider language training - Students are strongly encouraged to include language training at the host country in their proposed Scholarship program. Students are encouraged to seek academic credit but it is not mandatory for language training.
  • Internship Component - Explore taking up an internship work experience. Students are strongly encouraged to include one or more internships or mentorships in their proposed Scholarship program. Look into ways to arrange an internship by reaching out to potential organisations to see what may be possible at host destination. Internships and mentorships do not need to be confirmed at the time of application. 
  • Put together your application and selection criteria responses
    In addition to meeting the eligibility requirements, applicants will be assessed in against the selction criteria and against other applications. You should demonstrate how you would benefit from the NCP scholarship, what you will bring to the program if successful, and how you would establish an internship/mentorship if you were selected for consideration for the scholarship (see DFAT NCP scholarship program guidelines).

In your application, you must address each of the following selection criteria, limiting responses to 300 words per criterion. Use the notes under each criterion as guidance for drafting your responses.

  1. Academic excellence at the tertiary level (25% weighting)
    You must have achieved a minimum 70 per cent graded average or equivalent for your undergraduate program to date. Assessment of this criterion will relate to the applicant's demonstrated higher-order cognitive skills, creativity, innovation, communication skills, problem-solving skills and critical thinking skills in their university study. Applicants may also draw on academic achievements such as academic awards and commendations, publications, or other examples of academic excellence at the tertiary level.
  2. Leadership and engagement in the community (25% weighting)
    Assessment of this criterion will relate to the applicant's demonstrated leadership in the community, including in volunteer and not-for-profit roles, employment and/or other activities they have undertaken locally, nationally, overseas and/or at their university. Applicants should provide an example of a leadership role they have undertaken.
  3. Adaptabillity and resillience (25% weighting)
    Assessment of this criterion will relate to your potential to undertake successfully, and gain maximum advantage from, a study experience in an Indo-Pacific location. Consider how your resilience, flexibility and adaptability (particularly in different cultural contexts) will be enhanced and how you will develop relationships in the Indo-Pacific region and maintain them on your return to Australia.
  4. Ability to contribute to NCP's strategic objective and outcomes (25% weighting)
    Assessment of this criterion will relate to the applicant's demonstrated understanding of the strategic objective and outcomes of the NCP program, and how the applicant and their proposed Scholarship program would contribute to the NCP Strategic objective and Outcomes, including on return to Australia.

Where Applicants have similarly meritorious claims in relation to the Assessment criteria, preference may be given to:

  • Applicants proposing:
    • longer periods of Study components
    • an Internship component or a Mentorship
    • a period (or longer periods) of Language training, and/or
    • a Scholarship program with coherent correlation across the proposed Study component, Language training and Internship component
  • achieving diversity of placement across Host locations
  • representation from diverse student groups including but not limited to, Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students, students from a low socio-economic status background, students from regional/remote areas or universities, students who are first in their immediate family to attend university, students across the genders, female students studying in non-traditional fields, students with a disability, and students from a non-English speaking background
  • diversity across fields of study and Australian universities
  • how the proposal contributes to value with relevant money.


NCP News & Previous Recipients


Key Dates


2024 NCP Scholarship Application Workshop


2024 NCP Scholarship Application Deadline