Schol­ar­ship tak­ing teen to Mex­ico

The Leader (Nelson) - - FRONT PAGE - CARLY GOOCH

A for­mer Garin Col­lege stu­dent is say­ing adios to Nelson and hola to Mex­ico as she wings her way over on a schol­ar­ship to build links with Latin Amer­ica.

Lau­ren Wilks, 19, is study­ing a Bach­e­lor of Com­merce at the Univer­sity of Auckland, ma­jor­ing in Eco­nom­ics and In­ter­na­tional Busi­ness and is one of the re­cip­i­ents of the Prime Min­is­ter’s Schol­ar­ships for Latin Amer­ica.

Head­ing over to Mex­ico’s Tec­no­logico de Mon­ter­rey in January next year, Wilks said it was an ’’amaz­ing op­por­tu­nity to study and re­ally see their way of life’’.

‘‘I know it’s go­ing to be re­ally chal­leng­ing be­cause it’s so dif­fer­ent to New Zealand but I think be­cause the culture is so rich and there’s just so much to of­fer, I think it will be awe­some.’’

The schol­ar­ship was awarded to 11 in­di­vid­u­als from around the coun­try to help build con­nec­tions to Latin Amer­ica while study­ing there for 20-weeks with des­ti­na­tions in­clud­ing Ar­gentina, Peru, Brazil, Chile, Colom­bia and Mex­ico.

Ter­tiary Ed­u­ca­tion, Skills and Em­ploy­ment Min­is­ter Paul Gold­smith said the in­ter­na­tional ed­u­ca­tion ex­pe­ri­ence would ‘‘en­able the stu­dents to de­velop cul­tural skills and un­der­stand­ing along­side their spe­cial­ist sub­ject knowl­edge. Young Ki­wis who are con­fi­dent oper­at­ing in many coun­tries and cul­tures will boost New Zealand’s fu­ture as a trad­ing na­tion’’.

Wilks said it would be re­ally worth­while to get a ba­sic in­sight into the Mex­i­can way of life and to see how they ap­proached busi­ness.

‘‘I thought it would be so valu­able for my fu­ture ca­reer work­ing for NZ.’’

No stranger to South Amer­ica, Wilks lived in Chile for a year when she was eight-years-old. She said at least she had a ba­sic un­der­stand­ing of the coun­try.

The over­seas study would teach her valu­able skills which couldn’t be learnt in an of­fice that many New Zealand stu­dents didn’t have ac­cess to, Wilks said.

‘‘Over there I’m go­ing to have ex­po­sure to an op­por­tu­nity to take pa­pers that aren’t of­fered in NZ.’’

She said know­ing she was go­ing to Mex­ico next year, ‘‘it’s help­ing me get through this se­mes­ter’’.

Yvette Krohn-Ish­er­wood has been elected as the pres­i­dent of the New Zealand As­so­ci­a­tion for the Teach­ing of English.

Lau­ren Wilks has been ac­cepted into the Prime Min­is­ter’s Schol­ar­ship for Latin Amer­ica.

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