LatestWhat the New Zealand Government Scholarship Means to Me

What the New Zealand Government Scholarship Means to Me

Van Nguyen
Van Nguyen
Van Nguyen is a Vietnamese student who has had to work very hard to get to where she is now. Find out all about her journey to an international education here.

Hello everyone,

Time passes so fast and a new semester has started at the University of Otago.

This semester will be my last one with my thesis to complete.

I just have a few months left to enjoy time here in New Zealand.

Last year, I had amazing moments with all the great teachers, staff, friends, and workmates. I feel happy and lucky to study in New Zealand.

I would like to thank the New Zealand Government for providing me with a scholarship to study here. Because of that, today I would love to talk about how special this scholarship was for me.


What is the New Zealand ASEAN Scholar Awards?

“The New Zealand-ASEAN Scholar Awards recognise New Zealand’s close cultural, economic, and geographic ties with Southeast Asia. They seek to empower individuals with the knowledge, skills and qualifications to contribute to the economic, social, and political development of their region. Awards are offered for post-graduate level study”

(Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade)

This scholarship is open to candidates from the public and private sector. It includes civil society, university lecturers, development-focused organisations and charitable foundations.

For me, compared to other Government scholarships, this scholarship is really good because it is not limited to any specific study field.

In addition, after they finish studying, candidates can contribute to the development of their countries by working for places of their choice.

Why I applied to this scholarship and what it means to me.

As you know from my first blog, my dream in life is to become a social entrepreneur.

I really wanted to study a Master of Entrepreneurship in advanced countries. My goal was to gain knowledge and experience about how people run social businesses, which are in need in developing countries, like Vietnam.

Therefore, I applied for a New Zealand Government Scholarship.

It is hard to believe, but I have to say that it was the best decision I have made in my life.

There are many reasons for that.

  • Firstly, it is a full scholarship, which means that it covers all tuition fees, living expenses, setup allowances, air tickets, and tutoring allowances.
  • It gave me the opportunity to study my major and run my own social business after studying, which are not offered by other Government scholarships.

Money aside, this scholarship completely changed my life and made my dream come true earlier than I expected.

My first social business

I’m talking about HandiConnect, my first social business in New Zealand.

We mostly sell handmade products made by Vietnamese people living with disabilities to New Zealand customers at local markets.

You cannot believe how lovely our customers are. Not only do they buy our ethical products, but they also suggest how to improve the design, how we can expand the markets, how amazing our products are, etc.


Therefore, just in one year, HandiConnect got over 15,000 NZD revenue and donated over 5,000 NZD back to Vietnamese handicapped and orphans.

We also won The Audacious, the biggest student business challenge at our University.


In conclusion, I can say that getting a New Zealand government scholarship was just the beginning of my amazing journey.

My scholarship offered me great chances to study, to live, and to run my business with full support from everyone.

I was able to work part-time at University to have more savings and to prepare well for another social business in Vietnam when I go back.

Those amazing things would not have happened in my life if I had not decided to try my best to apply for this scholarship.

I do believe that getting any scholarship from any government or from any school is good, but for me, getting this scholarship particularly special.

Now I’m off to Australia for a 2 week holiday. I hope that there will be a blog for that occasion; otherwise this one will be my last blog. I will finish my degree in May.

I wish all the best for your studies.

If you are interested in New Zealand scholarships, you can have a look here or can send email to me at [email protected]

Again, enjoy your Easter break!