10 January 2012
Choose your own adventure
A group of International Studies students at RMIT University have completed overseas internships, gaining new insights into globalisation, language, cultural diversity and change.
Clinton Moore in the Philippines.
Susan Cash in Geneva - the best bit is making friends to share the experience with.
Caitlin Caruana interned at the Australian High Commission in London.
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Caitlin Caruana undertook an internship at the Australian High Commission (AHC) in London.
"AHC was busy with the upcoming Royal Wedding and ANZAC Day within the same week, the crises in Egypt and later Libya, the Julian Assange extradition case, as well as the knock-on effects of floods in Queensland and Victoria, the earthquake in Christchurch and the Japanese tsunami," she said.
"I got to meet with many of the heads of the departments that work within the AHC, including the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, the Australian Federal Police, the Department of Defence, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Public Affairs.
"The internship was a fantastic opportunity to operationalise my learning," Ms Caruana said.
Susan Cash completed a two-month internship with the Australian Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Geneva.
"My internship was within the disarmament section, which meant attending the Conference on Disarmament plenary sessions as well as attending meetings related to land mines, cluster munitions, the Biological Weapons Convention, the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons and space-related issues.
"Nearly every day I sat in on meetings, wrote briefing cables to be sent back to Canberra, wrote notes for my supervisors and attended side events and planning meetings.
"One of the most enjoyable aspects was meeting the other interns from all around the world and gaining new friends to share the experience with," Ms Cash said.
Clinton Moore interned with UN-HABITAT Philippines for three months as a project associate, based in the Science City of Munoz, Nueva Ecija.
"I was allowed a freedom to strengthen UN-HABITAT relationships around the Philippines, and I also travelled to Singapore with a city mayor and a Millennium Development Goal-themed cultural group.
"Working with UN-HABITAT was ultimately a dream come true for me. As well as putting into practice what I learnt in the classroom, I learnt some very valuable life lessons, both personally and professionally, and met some people I will never forget," Mr Moore said.
Dr Shanthi Robertson is the Program Director for the Bachelor of Arts International Studies in the School of Global Studies, Social Science and Planning.
She said: "Thanks to work-integrated learning coordinator Dr Aiden Warren, we recently held the International Studies Student Conference, which is an opportunity for third-year students to present on their research and work-integrated learning experiences.
"Students often fondly describe the Bachelor of Arts International Studies as a 'Choose Your Own Adventure' degree.
"Our 2011 third years had some truly amazing adventures, ranging from writing an ANZAC Day speech for the Australian High Commissioner in London to completing systematic content analysis of the ideologies behind Hamas martyr operations.
"The conference provided the perfect environment for third years to reflect on their diverse learning experiences, and for first and second years to get inspired about choosing their own adventures for 2012," Dr Robertson said.