A former St Patrick's Catholic School student has been awarded a Prime Minister's Scholarship for Asia.

Caitlyn Poole, 24, is completing her Master of Science (Animal Science) at Massey University.

But on Thursday, July 19 she will jet-set to China.

Former Te Awamutu student Caitlyn Poole.
Former Te Awamutu student Caitlyn Poole.

Caitlyn will complete a six-week intensive Mandarin language course — 30 hours per week — before the university semester begins.

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She will then continue studying Mandarin at Chengdu University for two semesters.

Caitlyn says the purpose of the trip is to dedicate her time to improving her Mandarin language skills and learn more about the Chinese culture.

The awards were announced last month by Education Minister Chris Hipkins.
The awards were announced last month by Education Minister Chris Hipkins.

It's not the first time Caitlyn has been to China.

She recently travelled there on the AsiaNZ Business Scholarship and interned at the NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Chengdu for three months.

Caitlyn is one of 180 young New Zealanders who have been awarded the prestigious scholarship as part of the second 2017/18 round.

The awards were announced last month by Education Minister Chris Hipkins.

"The Prime Minister's Scholarship for Asia enables talented Kiwi students to enjoy unique experiences living and studying in Asia at a formative time in their lives," Chris says.

He says the experiences challenge students at a personal level, broaden their horizons and allow them to build networks that will be useful throughout their careers.

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"They will become more outwardly focused and engaged in international issues and interested in other cultures," he says.

"Students having learning experiences in Asia also benefits us at a national level — it means New Zealand is growing the collective skills and cultural understanding required to make a mark on the global stage and show leadership in matters of significance to the Asian region."