New scholarship to study in Italy

27 February 2018
Scholarship winner Kelly Harris with Sergio Beillard and Antonella Lorenzini of Palazzo Italia.

University of Auckland students now have a special opportunity to study in Italy thanks to the generosity of Newmarket-based company, Palazzo Italia.

In 2017 Palazzo Italia, a franchise business dedicated to the promotion of Italian style, culture and sale of Italian products, set up a scholarship that supports a University of Auckland student of Italian to undertake at least four weeks of formal study in Italy.

Professional Teaching Fellow Gabriella Brussino says the Palazzo Italia Scholarship aims to support the development of the Italian language as a business and innovation opportunity.

"At the University we are often asked whether, in this day and age, learning Italian makes sense in the New Zealand context," she says. 

"Italian can be very useful in the job market. Just as the world of culture speaks Italian: music, art history, archaeology, theology and architecture, so the world of sailing also speaks Italian; the entertainment and food industry speaks Italian; the car and design industries speak Italian; and the business world speaks Italian."

Gabriella points to New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs statistics which show our imports from Italy total some $929 million with the top being motor vehicles, tractors, retail, and medicines.

Italy is a major player in the world economy and has many connections with New Zealand, she says. "This scholarship will enable students to gain experience in Italian industries, or handicrafts, technologies and design."

"It will also provide an occasion for cultural immersion and first-hand experience of the language and business culture of Italy and will encourage students to pursue a period of internship in Italy and/or study at postgraduate level in Italian."

Antonella Lorenzini, one of the founders and managing director of Auckland's Palazzo Italia, says her company wishes to establish a relationship with local organisations while championing Italian commerce and culture in New Zealand. "The scholarship is part of our approach to business and our commitment to the community."

The first Palazzo Italia scholarship was awarded in 2017 to Kelly Harris, who has just completed her Bachelor of Arts. She is currently doing a Marketing and Communication course in Venice. When she returns to New Zealand and the University of Auckland she will begin a Postgraduate Diploma in Arts specialising in Italian.

Find out more about studying Italian