This year saw NZ Fashion Tech awarded the Prime Minister’s Scholarship for Asia for the 3rd year in a row.
What’s that you say? …
The New Zealand government offers a variety of Prime Minister’s Scholarships for New Zealand students to study or research in Asia. The Prime Minister’s Scholarship for Asia (PMSA) is a new initiative by the government to provide support for New Zealand students to experience study in Asia. The only Private Training Provider to ever be awarded a group scholarship is NZ Fashion Tech and to date 44 students, over 3 years, have received this scholarship.
Each year the students spend 6 weeks in India during their last year of study. In that time they take part in a combination of study and cultural experiences. The best way to describe the adventure is through the students telling their own story….
Bailey says:-“If there’s one piece of advice I’d give to someone travelling to India, it would be to go there with zero expectations. A ‘Chinese’ restaurant will have a menu full of masala options, a pistachio ice-cream will have curry leaves in it, and if something is “five minutes” away, it is probably a couple hours away from happening. It didn’t take long for me to realise this, and that’s when I started having one of the best experiences of my life. Everything I thought I knew about India was completely wrong, and the more time I spent there the more apparent it became that it is a culture so rich and complex, that instead of trying to understand it all it was easier to just embrace it and go with the flow.
My time in India was full of unforgettable memories, along with the sadness of knowing that we would be leaving far too quickly. My highlight was by far travelling to Mysore, visiting the zoo and Palace. I chose to wear a saree that day, and it turned out that was the closest I would ever get to living my dream of becoming Kate Middleton. I felt like a princess in the saree…As a New Zealander, you could easy look around India and feel pity for the people there- the poverty, the non-stop chaos, the rubbish on the sides of the roads. But nearer the end of the trip I realised that was an arrogant way of thinking. There is a lot about Indian life we can be jealous of. Coming from somewhere where we moan if we have to work through a lunch break, and seeing people having business meetings at 1am, makes you realise we really don’t need a lot to be content. Everyone I met was so happy, and they were able to find beauty and enjoyment out of their life regardless of what they had.”
Olli recounts:-“I was exhausted, jet lagged, and totally out of sorts in this foreign environment. We had a rest day on Sunday to rejuvenate and fill up on some amazing (like literally, AMAZING) kai, take in the scenery of our new temporary home, and relax. The heat is something else, it’s not like you can escape it by sitting in some shade and drinking a cold beverage. Our water is warm, the shade is warm, EVERYTHING is warm. I like to think that the heat is what makes the locals so warm and inviting also.The thing about BIT (Bannari Amman Institute of Technology) is that it’s not just a University campus, it is a 180 acre, bustling, self-sufficient unit, with gardeners working around the clock to provide food, builders upgrading the already modern class facilities, and staff at our guest house making sure our stay is an easy transition from Kiwi life as we know it. I can’t begin to describe how luxurious this house is, but I’ll start with: marble floors, walls and ceilings. Indoor gardens. Wifi(!), bottled water at every corner to keep us hydrated, our rooms are cleaned daily and we get our washing done for us every few days. A stark contrast to the mixed social structure outside the BIT walls.
We were taken for a tour of the campus on the second day here and it’s safe to say that I was utterly mind-blown. They have what seems to be enough machinery to run a small spinning factory, weaving factory and knitting factory all in one big room, amazing testing and QC facilities, fashion illustration lab, and many more exciting things, and that’s just in the Fashion and Textiles Technology departments. We were also shown the Biotechnology department and got to handle snakes and watch them extract venom from a Cobra…I cannot wait to immerse myself further, we have a very packed itinerary with factory visits, a Yoga camp, shopping trips, and lectures with some of the greatest minds in Textile and Fashion manufacturing.”
From Surayya:- “Watching famous Bolliwood movies with friends was one of my favourite casual activities. Now I know I have been in love with the colourful Indian culture, amazing traditional music and dances since when I was very young. However I have never thought I would come to India. I am really happy that I got the opportunity to actually visit this spiritual place.”
From Te Aroha:- “When I boarded the plane in New Zealand, I really did not know what to expect from our stay in India. In one week we have seen, heard, tasted and experienced so much already, that I think anything is possible and there is still so much more to come!
I have never seen so much bright beautiful colours and patterns in my life. So many different fibres and patterns. The women all look beautiful and they dress with pride.”
Tori sums it up!
“What a week! Yet another 7 days of awesome!“
What an experience! An application for a PMSA is in for 2017 so hopefully we can do it all again!