South Korea world of potential for physics student Thomas Venville

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

2020 New Colombo Plan (NCP) Scholar, Thomas Venville, has always had a fascination with all things physics.

“I really enjoy investigating complex systems utilising the rational and methodical approach of the scientific method.”

Thomas’s passion for this complex and rewarding field has been realised through his studies at Swinburne University of Technology.

“Physics provides us with the opportunity to understand our universe at the most fundamental level. It never gets boring.”

Thomas Venville in front of Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology.

Thomas in front of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology.

The NCP has given Thomas the opportunity to pursue his love of science abroad, enabling him to study at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology.

“I chose South Korea as my host location as I felt it would allow me to achieve my goals through the NCP. I want to be exposed to new methods of thought and pursue my interest in dark matter density variations in the Milky Way.”

Thomas was in the unique position of starting his NCP journey in South Korea before the pandemic suspended all scholarship activity and he had to return back to Australia.

“I cannot really recall my first impression of being in South Korea as it was about two years ago. I remember stepping off the plane and being shocked by the frozen winter air. Arriving this time around, all I felt was happiness that I had gotten to return and recommence my studies after such a long absence.”

Thomas has found it important to find ways to make new connections while abroad.

“Sometimes you can feel like an outsider especially being here without your family and friends. I have found the best way to manage this is to make friends in your host location. It really increases how immersive and transformative the experience can be.”

The cherry blossoms on campus

Cherry blossoms on the university campus.

Thomas encourages every NCP Scholar to stop and see the beauty of their host location.

“My favourite experience of all has been just walking around campus. Seeing the vibrant cherry blossoms is such a novelty. It’s a great chance to stop and reflect amongst all the intensive study!”

The NCP has enabled Thomas to develop a lot more than just an appreciation for his surroundings.

“The opportunity to study the region as a part of the NCP is contributing immensely to my understanding of different academic environments and different cultures. I think to be a good scientist, and an even better human being, developing this understanding is essential.”

Thomas will be travelling to Japan for the next stage of his NCP journey where he will undertake language training and more astrophysics research.

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