International students contribute to La Trobe's purpose (Issue 18, 2012)

Scholarship ceremonyThe life-changing opportunity to study on a scholarship was highlighted during an awards ceremony for international students at the Melbourne campus on 23 August 2012.

Berenice Della Porta from Italy, who was awarded a La Trobe University Academic Excellence Scholarship to study agricultural science and international development, said the scholarship had made all the difference to her life. She said she had arrived in Australia two years ago when she started to save money for her studies.

‘Without this scholarship, I would never have been able to pay for my fees,’ says Berenice. ‘This is an excellent learning opportunity for me.’

Professor John Dewar, La Trobe University Vice-Chancellor and President, presented the international students with their scholarship certificates during the ceremony in front of international delegates, faculty representatives, students, friends, and staff.

There were 68 scholarship recipients from countries including Bulgaria, Peru and Germany. Scholarships cover part or all of tuition fees across all study levels of undergraduate, postgraduate coursework and postgraduate research.

Professor Dewar told the gathering it is a tough process to select scholars, with the University receiving many fine applicants of whom many could become the most outstanding researchers of their generation.

He said international students contributed to the University’s purpose, as one of the hallmarks of a great university was its internationalism.

‘Scholarship knows no nationality. It’s an empire of the mind, a republic of learning. Today, with 3.5 million international students studying abroad at any one time, your republic in fact comprises a small nation,’ Professor Dewar said.

‘As international students, you are part of that international scholarly community. So having you here isn’t just a delight for us – it’s part of our reason for being.’

Among the international delegates was Associate Vice Chancellor, Professor Jesse Lutabingwa from Appalachian State University, North Carolina, in the United States. The Appalachian State University is one of about 100 institutions with which La Trobe maintains an active partnership for a variety of purposes including sending students on exchange.

The La Trobe University scholarship program supports approximately 1000 international and local students. Details of scholarships can be viewed at latrobe.edu.au/international/fees/scholarships.