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Commentary: BVI-Asia Abroad Scholarship Programme 2022/23, Go Beyond The Ordinary

Commentary: BVI-Asia Abroad Scholarship Programme 2022/23, Go Beyond The Ordinary

The BVI Hong Kong Office, in partnership with the Ministry of Education, is offering a new scholarship programme for Virgin Islanders, the “Asia Abroad Scholarship Programme.”
The programme seeks to strengthen ties with Asia through international education and cultural exchange. This is an exciting opportunity for Virgin Islanders that transcends the familiarity of the Caribbean, North America, and Europe.

Although distant, the Asia-Pacific region is not completely unfamiliar to the Virgin Islands. The Territory has maintained a 30+ year relationship with the region in financial services from which more than 50% of all BVI financial services revenue is presently earned. As Asia continues to grow in global political and economic importance, there is a need to diversify our areas of collaboration so that Virgin Islanders themselves are immersed in the social, academic, and cultural sectors of the countries with whom we do business.

In the 1960-70s Virgin Islanders’ pursuit of higher education in the United Kingdom and Canada was considered ‘too far, too expensive, and too exotic’… very few made the trip. It was far more convenient, affordable, and closer to home to travel within the Caribbean, or to New York, Florida, and the East Coast of the United States. The presence of relatives and existing Caribbean communities made the journey easier for the young and ambitious.

To facilitate the abroad studies and aspirations of the population, the BVI Government established its own National Scholarship Programme, functioning to meet the employment demands of a rapidly modernizing BVI. As a result, study abroad destinations in the 1980-90s & early 2000s changed little, as very few Virgin Islanders invested in studying beyond this Caribbean, US, UK, Canadian triangle.

Fast forward to 2021…Surprise…the world is changing again! In the 21st century, Asia’s rapid rise over the last 20 years has now placed the region at the centre of global economic activity. There is now a massive demand for graduates immersed in the Asian experience, intercultural communication, and regional languages. To remain internationally competitive, BVI must embrace these changes, pursuing greater engagement with our Asian market partners.

To facilitate Virgin Islanders travelling to Asia, the Asia Abroad Scholarship potentially provides a combination of return airfare, tuition-free study, and financial support for living expenses towards Bachelor, Masters, & Doctoral degrees, as well as language studies. The areas of study include agriculture and marine sciences, public administration/public policy, hospitality and tourism, information technology, media & communications, diplomacy, medicine and public health, finance, or various fields of engineering.

However, scholarship candidates are encouraged to get involved in life outside of the classroom, pursuing their own adventures. Asia’s university campuses have no shortage of sports clubs, societies and opportunities for volunteering. The curious explorer can take short budget friendly trips within Asia by flight, bus, train or car to further their international travel experience. A quick trip to the monuments of Cambodia, sunny beaches of Vietnam, Tigers & Temples of Thailand, huge concerts in Korea, or the Great Wall of China…all are open! Wherever you choose to study is the perfect springboard for traveling.

The immersive cultural experience of the Asia Abroad Programme promises to internationalize you through forging new connections, building global professional networks, and develop lifelong career skills that will lead to a thriving career in the future. But most importantly, the experience you will bring back will help build a better Virgin Islands for the future.

The scholarship programme is open to any eligible Virgin Islander, all you need to do is apply…
(www.bvihongkongoffice.com.hk/en/education-asia-study-abroad-scholarship-programme). Don’t wait, your next
adventure awaits you….

The BVI Hong Kong Office can be contacted: studyinasia@bvihongkongof ice.com.hk

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