Kathryn Higgins enjoyed the opportunity of undertaking field research in Timor-Leste that would never have been available to her if she had not been an intern with the Centre for Global Research.
"As an intern at the Centre in 2012, I undertook field research in Timor-Leste during the 2012 presidential elections – an opportunity that, as an undergraduate, would never have been available to me elsewhere in my degree program.
"With the guidance and support of Centre Director, Dr Damian Grenfell, a second intern, Emily Toome, and myself travelled to Timor-Leste in April 2012 to investigate citizenship attitudes and democratic participation in the newly independent state. With the help of an East Timorese research team, we undertook surveys and interviews in Tetun with local residents in Dili, as well as English-language interviews with foreign workers in the capital. The experience taught me phenomenal amounts not only about the theory and practice of investigative research, but also the challenges of cross-cultural communication and project management in a foreign context.
"Most importantly, my internship with the Centre deepened and developed my understanding of Timor-Leste as a specialty area of academic knowledge. Both Emily and I continue to be involved with Timor-Leste research at the Centre and we are excited to be co-authoring an academic article utilising the data we collected during the elections."