Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions



1. What is the Westpac Asian Exchange Scholarship?

The Westpac Asian Exchange Scholarship supports young Australians to become Asiacapable leaders, with a desire to strengthen ties between Australia and Asia, and actively contribute to Australia’s success in the region. Scholars undertake a university-approved exchange program, as well as immersive opportunities including internships, volunteering, intensive language courses in Asia.

In addition, scholars participate in a bespoke in-country leadership development program and experience development opportunities through the Scholars Summit and lifelong access to the Westpac 100 Scholars Network (W100 Network).

This scholarship is one of five scholarship programs offered by the Westpac Scholars Trust, backing people from all walks of life who have the drive and ideas to shape the future of Australia. The Trust partners with Australia’s leading universities to offer 100 scholarships a year, forever.

2. How much is the scholarship worth?

The scholarship is valued at $12,250. This goes towards funding your exchange and the Leadership Development Program.

3. Will the Westpac Scholars Trust help us get visas for the Leadership Development Program?

All Scholars are responsible for arranging their own visas for the Leadership Development Program, however we’ll provide a letter of support if required.

4. Must I do an internship?

We understand that, with the change of visa laws, it can sometimes be difficult to undertake an internship in Asia. As such, if you’re unable to do an internship we encourage you to get involved in the local community through volunteering and language studies. Demonstrating that you’ve looked into your options to create a well-rounded experience for yourselves will strengthen your application.

5. What are previous scholars doing now?

Scholars are making a growing impact across government, business and non-for-profit sectors while others are still furthering their studies. You can read the profiles of our scholars and alumni here.

Selection & Funding

Selection & Funding

1. What are the eligibility criteria for the scholarship?
  • An Australian citizen or permanent resident.
  • Studying full-time at a participating Australian university:
    • Australian National University
    • Monash University
    • Murdoch University
    • Queensland University of Technology
    • RMIT University
    • University of Adelaide
    • University of Melbourne
    • University of New South Wales
    • University of Sydney
    • University of Queensland
    • University of Tasmania
    • University of Western Australia
    • University of Wollongong
    • Western Sydney University
  • Undergraduates (including Honours students) enrolled in second year or beyond when commencing the exchange.
  • All fields of study are eligible.
  • Holding a minimum of a credit average.
  • Intending to complete a university approved exchange program for one to two semesters in mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, South Korea or Taiwan, pending no travel restrictions.
  • Intending to commence in July/August 2022 for the start of semester at your host university in Asia, pending no travel restrictions.
2. Do I need to be an Australian citizen or permanent citizen to apply?


3. Do I have to have to be enrolled in an existing exchange program to be eligible for the scholarship?

All applicants must commence an exchange program for 1-2 semesters that is organised and approved by your university at one of the six listed destinations.

4. Can I undertake a virtual exchange or short-term mobility program?

No, you cannot undertake a virtual exchange or a short-term mobility (e.g. summer/winter intensives). The in-person exchange must be for 1-2 semesters.

5. How will I receive the scholarship money?

The funds will be administered by your Australian university before the commencement of your exchange program.

6. Does it matter how I spend the scholarship money?

Scholars can use funds to support your exchange as you see fit: generally this means helping pay for accommodation, flights, and supporting you through any volunteering activities or further travel in Asia.

7. Am I able to hold two scholarships?

Not if they’re concurrent. For example, if you’ve received an NCP mobility grant and have spent this on a previous trip, that’s fine. But you can’t put an NCP mobility grant towards the same exchange as your Westpac scholarship.

Destinations & Timeline

Destinations & Timeline

1. Where can I choose to go on exchange?

You can attend any university in the regions of mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, provided that there is an exchange agreement in place with your Australian university, pending no travel restrictions.

Due to the impacts of COVID-19, these destinations may change over time, pending government and university advice. If there are changes, we will update the website, applicants and successful scholars. We encourage you to be flexible with your choice of destination and to liaise with your university on travel updates.

2. When can I go on exchange?

You should intend to commence your exchange in July/August 2022 for the start of semester at your host university in Asia, pending no travel restrictions. Unfortunately, scholars cannot commence their exchange for the March/April semester in 2022.

The July/August start date allows scholars to complete their Leadership Development program together as a cohort before they commence their exchange, enabling you to have friends and networks across Asia during your exchange.

If you have any questions, please email:

3. Can I defer my scholarship?

It is not possible to defer your exchange to 2023 or beyond. You must undertake your exchange in July/August 2022. If recipients are unable to travel in July/August 2022 due to international restrictions, they will have the opportunity to reapply for 2023.

4. How many other scholars will be in the same city as me?

This depends on factors such as the popularity of destinations, however there is usually a strong support network of scholars in each of the destinations.

5. What is the average duration of the exchange experience?

The average semester starts in August/September and ends around December/January. Many universities work through Christmas. We encourage scholars to supplement their time at university with an internship, language training, or volunteering.

6. What support will Westpac provide me with while overseas?

Alongside your fellow scholars, Westpac will be able to provide recommendations to make the most out of your experience, including language schools, volunteering opportunities and tourist attractions. Through the W100 Alumni Network, you will have access to advice and insights from previous Asian Exchange Scholars and their experiences.

7. I am considering work in government. Will visiting certain countries affect my ability to hold a security clearance?

We’re unable to comment on any impact your exchange may have on your security clearance.

Leadership Development Program

Leadership Development Program

1. What happens during the Leadership Development Program?

The in-country Leadership Development Program (LDP) runs over 5 days in Asia. The program provides cross-cultural experiences, exposure to global thought leaders and explores key topics to become an Asia-capable leader. It supports you to build on your strengths and develop targeted leadership capabilities that will allow you to succeed in your field, and beyond. You will also have the unique opportunity to connect and collaborate with your fellow Westpac Asian Exchange Scholars who, we hope, will become lifelong friends during and after your exchange.

For some insights, check out Westpac Scholar Kenny Ng’s reflections on his Leadership Development Program experience.

2. What is the ‘ideal’ Westpac Asian Exchange candidate?

There is no ‘ideal candidate’: our scholars come from all disciplines and backgrounds, are highly motivated with a strong generosity of spirit, and are ambitious to create positive change by contributing to the future of Australia’s relationship in Asia. We’re not as interested in hearing about whether you’ve topped your class in all your subjects: we’re more interested in you as a person, what you’re passionate about, and why this opportunity is right for you, now.