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Student ambassador wins international relations role in Asia

Zion Dayal
Ashley Kate
Ashley Kate gives her presentation.  Supplied

University of Canterbury student, Ashley Kate Stuart, has been selected for a prestigious internship with the Asia Europe Foundation in Singapore.

Stuart, who heads the United Nations Youth NZ Canterbury Association, was named Best Individual Delegate at an Asia Europe relations event in Hong Kong.

The award earned the history and politics student an interview for the internship, which begins later this year.

It's a long way from growing up on the West Coast, where she felt cut off from the wider world.

"At high school I felt closed-minded and not exposed to global issues," she said.

She said it wasn't until she got involved with model United Nations events that she realised how important it was for New Zealand to be heard on an international stage.

The internship will allow Stuart to coordinate human rights seminars and assist in the foundation's future projects.

She will work in the political and economic department doing research between Asia and Europe, and study economic trade attitudes towards New Zealand. 

"I am quite excited for my first international trip by myself, and that is real work experience for me in my field of interest," she said.

Ashley Kate Art Award
Ashley Kate receiving Top Art Student Award Supplied Ashley Kate

Stuart has been awarded scholarships from the Prime Minister and the University of Canterbury.

"I think from a young age I always had a determination to succeed, so the awards aren't to get the accolades."

"It's showing how determined I am to succeed in my own right," she said.

Stuart regularly goes back to her home province to talk to others about her experiences.

She hopes to one day work for a non-government organisation network to improve communities. 

Stuart currently works three jobs in an effort to raise the $9000 needed to fund her travels.

Delegate Award
Ashley Kate receiving Top Individual Delegate Award Supplied Ashley Kate