Two UniSA students have been chosen to travel across the world to attend high-level diplomatic meetings as part of Global Voices – a program run by a non-profit organisation creating opportunities for young Australians to engage with international policy at home and abroad.
Kyle Reeve, who is studying social work and international relations, will head to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York, while law student Almira De Vera will attend the World Bank and IMF Annual Meetings in Washington DC.
Kyle was ecstatic to hear the news and believes the program will help foster his future career.
“As a social work and international relations student, I would love to one day work for an organisation such as the United Nations. So I jumped at this opportunity when I saw that Global Voices was sending a UniSA student to the UN in New York,” Kyle says.
“This will give me a great opportunity to meet and network with professionals who work in the field that I aim to work in.”
It’s not the first time UniSA students have participated in the prestigious scholarship program. Another two students attended global summits earlier this year in Paris and Shanghai with support from the University’s exchange program.
Global Voices provides the scholarships by partnering with Australia’s leading universities. Students not only gain exclusive access and exposure to high level foreign policy negotiations but also enjoy the opportunity to network with business leaders, Australia government representatives and international decision makers.
Vivian Rivera, an international relations student at UniSA, was chosen to attend the Organisation for Economic Cooperation Development (OECD) Forum in Paris earlier this year and first heard about the opportunity via the University’s Career Services portal.
“I'm constantly checking the opportunities and services available for UniSA students," Vivian says. "Earlier this year I received an update that UniSA was offering two full scholarships to attend the OECD Forum in Paris or the Y20 China Summit in Shanghai. I immediately thought it'd be a dream come true.
“As an international relations student I have closely followed the work of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Attending the forum was a way to crystallise all that academic understanding and experience what this means in practice.”
As well as attending the forum, Vivian participated in meetings at Parliament House in Canberra, learning about international diplomacy.
“Global Voices organised business cards for all delegates, and provided several opportunities to network with policy-makers, government representatives and members of academia through pre-briefing meetings in Canberra and as part of the international delegation,” Vivian says.
It’s an opportunity Vivian knows will hold her in good stead once she finishes her studies.
“In today's world we need to look for opportunities to maximise our career, gain valuable experience and not only develop academic knowledge but also a whole range of skills that help us step into our workplace and give ourselves an edge.”
Engineering student Jermone De Vera, who was chosen to attend the Y20 China Summit in Shanghai, was tasked with the job of focusing on the current challenges facing the energy sector and electricity services in Australia and other G20 nations.
“As soon as I saw the email from UniSA student exchange and found out that I met the requirements, I basically spent the rest of the day focusing on my application,” says Jermone.
Although he found himself surrounded at the Summit by students studying political science and finance majors, he felt he was able to bring a unique perspective to the table.
“As an electrical engineering student, this scholarship has given me a global view on how decision making occurs in terms of policies and government procedures. It has definitely improved my communication and leadership skills,” Jermone says.
The Summit delivered a number of highlights including meeting the Vice President of China, Li Yuanchao, and was an experience Jermone will remember beyond graduation.
“It was a once in a lifetime experience which has opened up new opportunities, allowed me to gain new friends, and provided unique experiences that will stay with me for a very long time,” Jermone says.
Find out more about the university’s exchange program including international study opportunities and travel grants here.