New Zealand Scholarships 2021

Applications for full scholarships close on 28th February

I’mACE Team

Thinking of furthering your education abroad? New Zealand has always been one of the most popular overseas study destinations, offering a perfect blend of world class universities, high standard of living and spectacular scenery. Here we reflect on the experiences of last year’s New Zealand Scholarship awardees, as they underwent Pre-Departure Training before heading south.


At the end of September, ACE Principal, Mr Ashley Irving, and the ACE English language training team opened the New Zealand Scholarships Pre-Departure Training (PDT) program at the Australian Centre for Education (ACE) Tuol Tom Poung campus, for the latest cohort of New Zealand Scholarships (NZS) awardees.


Awardees participated in a PDT program specially adapted for NZS to prepare them academically and culturally before they departed for New Zealand in early 2020. The ACE PDT course is funded by the New Zealand Scholarships Program to ensure awardees make a successful start to their study and life in New Zealand.


Dr Alastair Ker, ASEAN Programmes Academic Director (Victoria University of Wellington), appeared in a welcome video and mentioned some of the things previous NZ Scholars wished they had practiced more before arriving, including learning how to read academic texts efficiently, how to carry out research and report on it, finding out about New Zealand society, its education system and daily life, and learning how to make conversation with New Zealanders!

So congratulations to all the 2020 NZS awardees currently undertaking their Master’s and PhD degrees in New Zealand, and good luck to everyone considering applying for a 2021 scholarship. Here’s the advice they left behind for this years’ scholars:


KHANN Marina

“I love New Zealand because it is a small country which acts as a melting pot,​ with people of many nationalities living together. Having English as one of their official languages made it the ideal study abroad destination for me.

My experience as a teacher has helped me identify challenges and consider solutions to different areas in education and led to my decision to study TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). I have three specific aims: First, I want to find ways of incorporating more 21st century skills in our general education curriculum. Second is to review the assessment criteria used by Cambodian educators, and which some find problematic. My last aim is to support greater integration of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Cambodia’s education institutions.

Although the application process can seem daunting, I would encourage everyone to give the NZ Scholarships program a try. Our country’s development begins with us, and you shouldn’t feel discouraged if you don’t get through the first time. Keep trying and don’t be afraid to ask former scholarship awardees for tips and advice.”

PEL Cheapanhasith

“I chose NZS because of the wide-ranging support it provides, from financial to academic assistance, and even career support to help awardees get their dream jobs.

The major I chose, focusing on the current drive for renewable energy, is very popular there and I hope to become an engineer in the field when I return to Cambodia. I want to bring back the technology used overseas to assess the efficacy of renewable energy sources, and contribute to energy security in Cambodia, and its contribution to wider economic and industrial development.

When you apply for an NZS, make sure you are aware of the timeline for applications. You will be required to take a computer-based psychometric test and an IELTS tests, so practice your English to ensure you achieve a 6.5 IELTS score. Also, do lots of research into the course and university you want to study at, and check the eligibility requirements. Finally, when you fill out the application, make revisions and ask for recommendations from a former awardee or your supervisor.”


I chose NZS because it is one of the few scholarships which can be done 100% online, and New Zealand is a country I’ve always wanted to visit because it is so peaceful and quiet.

I picked Victoria University of Wellington as it is the only University offering a major in e-government. In Cambodia, we are currently trying to integrate e-government in various sectors such as education, commerce and business, but more expertise is required. In this country, it takes up to 99 days to register a new business but in New Zealand you can do it in under 12 hours!

When applying for an NZS, make sure you are fully aware of the requirements and get started as soon as possible.”

KOUM Raksmeymony

“I applied to the University of Canterbury to obtain a master’s degree in water resource management. Since my specialization is in an environmental field, I was looking for a country which values its physical environment and New Zealand was the obvious choice.

I want to gain more expertise in the sector and, to achieve that, I must complete a master’s course. The program will help me become a specialist in water management and in my future career. I hope that when I come back, I will be able to work in an organization or development agency whose work centres on water resource management or relevant fields.

Think carefully about what New Zealand Scholarships require, such as prerequisites, conditions, benefits and what you need to prepare your application. Think about what you want to achieve and how to prepare for the challenges of further study.”

HEANG Piseth

“I chose NZS because I wanted to strengthen my capability in public health. New Zealand’s healthcare system has a great reputation, and the country is regarded as a relaxed and peaceful place to live.

I want to improve my knowledge of food safety and disease management and develop Cambodia’s health and medical departments in which I am working, as well as help train local Cambodians. Having the chance to continue my studies in New Zealand, I would like to understand such topics as how farmers manage their value chain and communicate and work with the government.

NZS applicants should focus on improving their English. The scholarship requires at least an IELTS 6.5 overall band score. Last year, I came to Phnom Penh every weekend to study English at ACE and improve my language. I never gave up on my goal to study abroad!”

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