Young Australian Leader Selected for Prestigious Japanese Cultural Exchange Program

Young Australian Leader Selected for Prestigious Japanese Cultural Exchange Program

Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Commerce student Nikki Vu has been selected to join 240 young leaders from around the world in a prestigious youth development program, the Ship for World Youth Leaders (SWY) program, operated by the Cabinet Office of the Government of Japan.

Nikki is majoring in International Commerce and International Studies with a minor in Criminology. Through her Arts degree, she has participated in the inter-campus exchange program in Malaysia, spent a semester in China with a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant, and finished her Criminology minor in Prato. These study abroad programmes were paired with participation in youth advisory committees, leadership programs (e.g. Vice Chancellor's Ancora Imparo Leadership program), and clubs and societies. Her Arts degree has provided Nikki with the opportunity to explore how economic, political and social decisions and changes are made across the world from a multidisciplinary perspective.

Arts has been instrumental in learning about the nuances and complexities of different cultures and socio-political systems through negotiation, teamwork and cultural sensitivity. Nikki credits both her major in International Studies and minor in Criminology for challenging her to develop critical thinking and remain open-minded through research, analysis and reporting.  She said, “I believe these insights and experiences align with the Ship for World Youth Program’s aim to enhance cross-cultural communication and foster a spirit of international cooperation and diversification.”

Nikki is one of 12 young Australians, who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and potential in their own communities, and will travel to Japan on 16 January 2018 to embark on a six-week program that will see participants board the Nippon Maru where they will live, study, discuss global issues together and participate in multi-cultural exchange activities.

These young Australians will visit Singapore, India and Sri Lanka as part of their journey alongside delegations from India, Mexico, Mozambique, Oman, Peru, Poland, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka and Japan.

While on board participants will attend seminars conducted by field experts, plan independent activities and convene participant-led workshops around themes of cross-cultural understanding, volunteerism, education and youth-led change.

In its 30th year, the SWY program aims to enhance participants' international outlook and foster a spirit of international co-operation in order to develop young leaders who are willing to make positive changes in their local communities and on a global scale. Each year Japan selects which countries it would like to invite to build stronger relations with their young leaders. Australia has only participated a few times.

National Leader, Mr Andrew Higgs said, “I am proud to welcome Nikki into the Ship for World Youth delegation. She will be a wonderful representative for her community but also a great ambassador for Australia”.

Nikki said, “I am excited by the prospect of being part of a strong network that transcends borders and fosters a spirit of international cooperation. This program provides a unique opportunity to equip participants with the knowledge, abilities and insights required to be an active global citizen in an increasingly globalised world.”

“I am very proud to be representing Monash University and Australia. I owe a tremendous amount to Monash University for the numerous exchange and leadership opportunities provided.”

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