Two former Hawke's Bay students will head to South America next year after winning the Prime Minister's Scholarships for Latin America.

Victoria Beck and Stuart Robinson were named alongside 19 others as recipients in round two of the scholarships and will go to Rio and Colombia to embark on a year of study.

At just 18 Miss Beck, who is in her first year at Victoria University, was excited for the experience.

"I know there will be some culture shock but after my trip to Chile for the Rotary Exchange at school all I wanted to do was go back to that side of the world."


She said there were definitely nerves but she was looking forward to learning the culture and language.

Miss Beck can speak Spanish and German and said learning Portuguese had always interested her.

When she was in Chile for her Rotary Exchange Miss Beck said she could pick up on Portuguese because it was similar to Spanish.

"I am not daunted by learning this new language and think it would be something cool to do. I love the culture and the people over there so I can't wait to get there and start learning about the country."

Miss Beck is planning on attending PUC-Rio University studying international relations, but is waiting on her official acceptance in October.

Mr Robinson was also looking forward to the experience and after studying a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) at University of Canterbury he was going to study a Master of International Business degree at Universidad EAFIT in Colombia but was waiting for his official acceptance.

"It all worked out well as I was keen to do some business on top of my engineering degree and when I was searching online I saw this scholarship a week before it closed."

The 21-year-old had been to South America in 2014 for a few weeks and fell in love with the place.


"I had a pretty keen desire to go back as it was such a cool place. The people were so friendly and quite like us Kiwis - chilled and relaxed but were also energetic and passionate.

"I have only heard good things about the city and apparently its nickname is the city of eternal spring so I must be in for some incredible weather."

Mr Robinson will also be doing an advanced course to improve his Spanish language skills on his year abroad.

Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Paul Goldsmith congratulated all of the recipients and wished them all the best for their time representing New Zealand to the world.

"This international education experience will enable the students to develop cultural skills and understanding alongside their specialist subject knowledge.

"Young Kiwis who are confident operating in many countries and cultures will boost New Zealand's future as a trading nation."

The PMSLA programme is funded as part of the $761.4 million Innovative New Zealand 2016 Budget package.

Applications are now open for round one of the 2017/18 PMSLA and close on October 30, 2017.