Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Latin America

The Prime Minister’s Scholarship for Latin America (PMSLA) is a programme funded by the New Zealand government and administered by Education New Zealand.

Applications for the March 2019 round are now closed, please check back in mid July for the August 2019 application link.

Please note: we have merged the application deadlines for the Prime Minister's Scholarship for Asia and Latin America. The new application deadlines for both scholarships will be: 30th Aug (round 1) and 30th March (round 2).

Click here to view the latest scholarship recipients - 2018/19 round one.

Eve Bain in Colombia

“I have improved my Spanish so much that I am fairly fluent, and have learnt a lot about the history and culture of Colombia.” – Eve Bain spent 2017 on an exchange in Colombia.


The scholarship aims to:

● strengthen institutions’ connections with their counterparts in key Latin America countries
● promote understanding of the strength and quality of New Zealand’s education system and raise awareness in Latin America of New Zealand as a preferred education destination
● improve the international skills of the New Zealand workforce
● strengthen people to people connections between New Zealand and countries in Latin America through participants building lifelong friendships and networks.
● strengthen New Zealand’s ability to engage with key Latin American trading partners
● improve New Zealanders’ understanding of Latin American business practice and culture


To view the current scholarship guidelines, please click here

The scholarship is awarded to individuals and currently covers the following costs relating to study, internship or research in Latin America: 

1. Individuals on exchange, internship or other independent programmes

● Tuition fees of Latin American institutions (not NZ fees)
● Contribution to internship brokerage fees
● Return economy class flights NZ-Latin America - NZ$2,500
● Contribution to living, accommodation, visa, insurance etc costs of $270* per week on study programme. Click here for a list of insurance requirements


* If brokerage/programme fees cover accommodation, the maximum weekly contribution to living costs will be NZ$170 per week.

2. Individuals on group programmes

● New Zealand Tertiary providers/institutions may apply to the PMSLA to fund a group (3+) to travel together to Latin America on a specified programme that meets PMSLA goals
● Group programmes are applied for separately under the PMSLA, and have their own application and reporting requirements. Funding for individuals on group programmes is as above.



Preference is currently for applicants undertaking appropriate programmes in Colombia and Brazil. Other Latin American countries such as Mexico, Chile, Argentina and Peru are also included. The destination institution should have a formal relationship with a New Zealand institution.

You can find out more about institutions in Latin America, and where they are ranked in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, by visiting their website. You can also view the full list here

“I have travelled all over South America, learned about international business, became almost fluent in Spanish and made good friends… I would advise anyone considering something like this to investigate what’s out there.” – Stuart Robinson is spending two years in Colombia studying business. Click here to read about his highlights so far.


Programmes must be a minimum of 4 weeks and not exceed 24 months. Maximum funded weeks over 24 months is 72.


Applicants must propose programmes that can be demonstrated to be linked to New Zealand’s education, economic or trade agenda in Latin America, and may include business, social sciences, the creative arts and culture, indigenous studies, ICT/new media.]  Programmes can be either:

  1. An undergraduate or postgraduate part or whole programme in a relevant subject area at an approved institution. Exchange programmes are included here.  
  2. A full-time internship (or part-time with additional study). Internships for longer than 12 weeks may be considered. 
  3. Education, trade or economic-related research or development including development/research for intending or existing teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, to target countries, including cooperative or independent research at educational institutions. Research applicants  other than existing language teachers, must be currently enrolled at a New Zealand tertiary institution in a master's or PhD programme.


 Candidates must be:

  • at least 18 years old at the date of applying for the scholarship, AND
  • New Zealand citizens or have Permanent Resident status and in all cases be ordinarily resident in New Zealand, i.e., be domiciled or residing in New Zealand, having done so for the immediately preceding 12 months.


Individual applications

To complete this application, you will need to upload the following documents:

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Proof of Citizenship for every country for which you hold citizenship and/or proof of Permanent Residency status
  • Officially verified Academic Transcripts for up to three tertiary level qualifications (equivalent to level 5 and above). If you have not completed a tertiary qualification, you will need to upload documentation of your highest secondary qualification if it has been completed within the past three years.
  • a 120 second video (more details available in the online application)

You will also need to provide the names and emails of two referees to request references, one of which should be an academic reference.

Group applications

New Zealand Tertiary Education Organisations and approved organisations may submit group application/s for scholarship support on behalf of students wishing to travel to target countries on exchange or study abroad programmes, or on specifically-tailored study programmes in Latin America.

Massey in Colombia
 “I have absolutely loved this trip, it has been a very amazing and humbling experience.” – 12 students from Massey University loved their four-week exchange in Colombia.

Application deadlines

There are two PMSLA rounds a year. You will not be able to submit applications after the deadlines.

March Round: Applications must be submitted by 30 March (from the March 2019 onwards).

August Round: Applications must be submitted by 30 August (from August 2018 onwards). 

Selection criteria

Applicants who meet the eligibility criteria and whose programme clearly meets the goals of the scholarship, will additionally be expected to display academic strengths and personal attributes such as independence, initiative, maturity, and confidence . . . plus

  • The potential to succeed in academic study abroad
  • The ability to represent New Zealand (and, where relevant, their home institution) positively; particularly the quality of a New Zealand education experience
  • And most importantly - be willing and prepared to put into practice the aims of the scholarship. 

Useful resources

   ● Selection Panel Criteria for Assessing Group applications
  ● Selection Panel Criteria for Assessing Individual applications
  ● To find an institution – click here for the current QS Latin America University Rankings
  ● To find an internship – click here for a list of brokers.
Language and study programmes

Please note, the programme costs in the documents below may vary from the current costs. Please make sure you check the institutions' website or contact the institution directly for the costs for the current study year before you submit a PMSLA application. 

Overview - Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo (PUC-SP) 
Overview - Universidade Estadual Paulista Programme Offer (28 September 2016)
Overview - various Universities
Overview - Pontificia Universidad Catolica De Valparaiso (JANUARY & FEBRUARY PROGRAMMES)
Overview - Pontificia Universidad Catolica De Valparaiso Summer 1 and 2 (MAY, JUNE, JULY PROGRAMMES
Overview - Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María (Utfsm) (International logistics programme)
Overview - Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María (Utfsm) (Semester abroad at USM programme)
Overview - Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María (Intensive Spanish Programme)
Overview - Universidad Andrés Bello (Exchange and Independent Programmes)
Overview - Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez (UAI) (Exchange, short-term, Spanish programmes) 
Overview - Universidad de La Sabana (Exchange/Study Abroad/Grad semester/Summer Programs/Spanish Language/Latin American studies programs)
Overview - Universidad de La Sabana (International Summer School)
Overview - Universidad Externado de Colombia (Spanish Language for Foreigners)
Overview - Universidad de Ciencia Aplicadas y Ambientales (UDCA) (undergraduate and internship programmes)

Overview - Universidad de la Salle (International Summer Academy)

Overview - Universidad de los Andes (academic exchange/language programmes)
Previous scholarship recipients:
Scholarship recipients - August 2018  
Scholarship recipients - April 2018
Scholarship recipients – October 2017
Scholarship recipients – April 2017
Scholarship recipients – October 2016

What's in it for me?