You recently returned from studying overseas – where did you study and what were the details of the subject/study opportunity? How did you find out about it?
I participated in a Deakin Study Tour to Japan. It was focused on Japanese society, culture and politics. I was a part of a group of 20 Deakin students based at Musashi University in Tokyo. Each day we would undertake lectures, excursions and experiences focused on Japanese society, culture and politics. Deakin offers a variety of study abroad options, from undertaking a semester abroad to short-term partner programs or study immersion programs such as this one.
Why did you decide to study overseas? What do you think the value is in taking up international study opportunities?
As part of Deakin’s Bachelor of International Studies degree, students are required to undertake two credit points of international experience. This can be made up of study tours, short-term partner programs or a semester abroad, or a combination. However, even if you are not required to undertake one of these styles of programs, they are offered to just about every area of study.
I chose to participate in a study tour because they are a great way to experience and learn about a country through interactive learning and excursions, as opposed to just sitting in a classroom. I chose Japan because I have a great interest in learning about the Asia-Pacific as it is our own region and Japan is considered one of the three biggest players in the region along with China and the USA. Japan has such a unique history and it was great to visit and learn about places that have shaped the current political world.
What were some of the highlights?
Some of my highlights included visiting the Japanese National Diet (Parliament). We were fortunate enough to receive a tour of the building and learn about its function and history from a former ambassador of Japan. A second highlight was visiting the Australian Embassy and meeting the Australian Ambassador. I enjoyed visiting the embassy because it was a rare insight to see Australian foreign policy and diplomacy in action and get an understanding of this unique area of work. I enjoyed everyday things as well, like experiencing Japanese food and getting lost in Tokyo's complex subway system.
Do you think you would have been able to study overseas without the support of a GAF scholarship?
The George Alexander Foundation scholarship has been a great support to me throughout my time at Deakin University. It has allowed me to participate in study programs like this one and to also undertake volunteer work and other rewarding experiences. Coming from rural Victoria to study at Deakin University was a big thing for me to do in my life, and the Foundation has helped me greatly with the transition and being able to achieve my goals.
What’s coming up next for you?
I still have another year and a half at least until I finish my two bachelor degrees at Deakin University, so during this time I would love to take another opportunity to participate in a study tour or short-term partner program overseas. There are a number of short term partner programs hosted in the Asia Pacific region, which I am really interested in, as well as a Deakin-led study tour to the USA, which would be great to be apart of. I’m very excited about the future and love taking opportunities like these.