All the info you need to get started

A Prime Minister's Scholarship is an opportunity to grow yourself and see the world through a new lens.

Other benefits include:

  • Learn a new language, or improve existing skills

  • Become a global citizen

  • Develop intercultural competencies

  • Grow your network and connections overseas

  • Discover new cultures

  • Enhance your employability

Who are we looking for?

We welcome diverse applicants from all backgrounds. You don't need to be studying, and you don't need top grades.

We are looking for applicants who can display qualities like cultural awareness, initiative and confidence. Being able to act as an ambassador for New Zealand while overseas is important.

Have a think about how an overseas experience could shape you as a person, or help you give back to your community.

Who can apply?

The Prime Minister's Scholarship is open to those who meet the following criteria:

  • At least 18 years old at the date of applying
  • New Zealand citizen or permanent resident
  • Have been a resident in New Zealand for at least 12 of the previous 24 months
  • Not an immediate relative of an Education New Zealand staff member or selection panel member
  • Medically fit to travel (successful applicants will need to agree to complete any routine medical checks performed at the border, such as COVID-19 tests)
  • Able to attend the full duration of your proposed programme overseas
  • Eligible for an entry visa into your host country
  • Have not previously received a Prime Minister’s Scholarship of the same type you are applying for (group or individual) (and see myth buster #5 below for more info)
  • The host country region or regions you are intending to visit during your programme must be safe for travel (rated either "exercise normal safety and security precautions" or "exercise increased caution" on New Zealand's SafeTravel advisory scale) - noting that travel advisories may change at any time.

Myth busters

The scholarship is open to applicants at all stages - you could be studying, a recent graduate, or in the workforce. You do need to be at least 18 years old to apply, but there's no upper age limit.


There's no minimum grade you need in order to apply, and selection is not based solely on academic excellence. However, you do need to be able to demonstrate that you can cope with your studies (or other programme) while overseas.


We've tried to make our application process as simple and streamlined as possible!

Applying for the scholarship involves submitting a few documents, providing two referees, and helping us get to know you with three short written statements and a two minute video.

To help you get familiar with the scholarship, have a look around this website, check out our FAQs for common questions, and take a look at the full steps to apply so you can start getting things ready ahead of the next round opening.

Remember, the effort you put in now could set you on a whole new path. Many of our alumni tell us that their experience on the scholarship changed the course of their life, helped them build professional and personal connections around the world, and opened their eyes to new cultures, languages, and career paths. Check out some of our alumni stories.


You can still apply for the scholarship if you haven’t yet been accepted to the programme you are applying to in Asia or Latin America - whether that's an exchange, internship, language course or something else.

Ideally, you will have at least started applying for your programme overseas at the time of applying for the scholarship. If you are successful with your application, we will then touch base to ask for confirmation that you have been accepted before we pay out scholarship funds.


If you've already been part of a group programme, you can still apply for an individual scholarship. However, you can't do this the other way round - go on an individual scholarship and then apply for a group programme.

This is because group programmes offer a shorter 'taster' of Asia or Latin America, and we want group programme participants to have the opportunity to extend their learnings through an individual programme of their own, which is likely (but doesn't have to be) longer in duration.

No one can receive an individual scholarship more than once or be part of a group programme more than once.

Learn about the difference between individual and group programmes.


The qualities we look for in applicants

Community-minded

You identify with your community and can demonstrate your connection and contribution to this community (for example via volunteering, leadership roles or mentoring others).

Culturally aware

You are able to explain how you expect to contribute to the goal of building mutual understanding whilst overseas (for example by learning about your host country's culture, explaining what it means to be a New Zealander, and building meaningful relationships). 

Anticipated collective benefit

You can describe how you will use your experience to benefit your wider community (for example by sharing knowledge, skills, and connections; and taking action for the benefit of your community). 

Ambassadorial

You can positively represent Aotearoa New Zealand overseas, as well as your New Zealand education provider (if applicable). You are an effective communicator, emotionally intelligent, and well rounded. You exhibit strong core values, such as integrity. 

Adaptable

You have the potential to succeed in a different environment (whether studying or working). You are independent and show initiative, anticipate challenges, solve problems effectively, and are positive and motivated.

Anticipated individual benefits

You are able to articulate how you expect to benefit from the international experience. You may discuss your expected personal growth (for example in terms of new attitudes, skills, confidence, knowledge of other cultures), and anticipated education and career benefits (for example establishing new networks, re-engaging with your studies, opening up new career paths and opportunities to work in areas that strengthen New Zealand's connections to the world).

Share this opportunity with a friend!

Know someone you reckon could love this opportunity? Nominate them through this form, and we'll be in touch with a friendly email encouraging them to consider a Prime Minister's Scholarship.

Group programmes

We run one scholarship round each year for group programmes, generally earlier in the year. Previously, most of our group applications have been made by education providers (universities, wānanga, institutes of technology and polytechnics, and private training establishments).

However, we welcome applications from any group or organisation who can meet the objectives of the scholarship. Successful group programmes have been awarded to marae, whānau Māori trusts, non-profit organisations and more.

Resources for groups

Group programmes offer a flexible way to organise learning experiences in Asia and Latin America. Groups apply for a certain number of people, and once a programme is awarded, the organiser will run their own process to select the members who make up the group.

Participants in a group programme simply need to meet the same eligibility requirements as individuals, including being a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident at least 18 years old at the date of applying.

For more information, browse our group terms and conditions and group selection criteria.