Ready to turn your passion for positive change, humanitarianism and helping others into a rewarding career? Hear how one CDU student is getting hands-on experience in the field at this year’s Engineers Without Borders Design Summit in India.
Jade Spencer is in her first year of a Bachelor of Humanitarian and Community Studies degree, which she’s studying online and part time with CDU. Jade has previously studied Youth Work won the Gloucester Young Citizen of the Year Award in 2009 for her community work. She’s passionate about helping others locally and globally, and plans to change the world one step at a time. In case you’re wondering why she’s holding a roll of toilet paper in her pic… That’s Jade fundraising for the local Prostate Cancer Support group! Jade sold 96 rolls of toilet paper in under four hours and raised $251 for the cause through the innovative initiative she and her mum developed and implemented. What a legend!
If you share Jade’s passion for positive change, humanitarianism and helping others but you’re not sure how to take that pursuit further and turn it into a rewarding career, read on! You’re sure to be inspired by Jade.
I want to bring my overseas experiences home with me to empower the community I currently live in to think globally and act locally.
As part of her Humanitarian and Community Studies course, Jade is travelling with CDU to Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India to attend the Engineers Without Borders 2017 Design Summit for two weeks. She’s taken some time to share with us her motivations, her plans for expanding her studies overseas and her vision for the future.
How did you get started on your journey?
In 2014 I travelled to Luang Prabang, Laos to teach English to Novice Buddhist Monks, which really set me off on this journey. I want to work in humanitarian aid in the future, preferably in disaster relief and investigation. I first heard about the opportunity to attend the Engineers Without Borders Design Summit in an email from Susi Bertei, one of my lecturers at CDU. I emailed her for more information.
The application process was straightforward and I got my application in two days before the cut-off date. I was accepted and have been filling in paperwork ever since!
What interested you about the opportunity?
I wanted to be a part of this program because I want to work overseas on humanitarian projects. I am most looking forward to getting hands on experience in this field. I’m not studying Engineering, but the design elements and working as part of a multidisciplinary team will be an amazing opportunity.
What are the biggest challenges you’re facing?
I am expecting a total culture shock. I grew up in both Perth and Brisbane as a child, but have spent my last 10 years in rural NSW. It is quiet here, and I anticipate the total opposite when I get to Ahmedabad. A challenge that I am ready to take on.
Right now though, I am trying to fundraise to get overseas. I talked to my travel agent and we have a conservative estimate of about $4000 that I need to fundraise for flights, visas and other travel costs. I live in a wonderful community and I have a lot of support behind me. The waiting to go is hard, but I have to just keep up with my studies; so I am taking things one step at a time.
I hope that I will be able to bring a fresh perspective with me, and take a new global perspective home.
How will being overseas shape your education?
I am hoping to get hands on experience in this field. I hope that this opportunity will open my eyes and mind to world issues. This chance will help me to grow as a humanitarian. I’ll be working with multidisciplinary teams and I hope that I will be able to bring a fresh perspective with me, and take a new global perspective home.
Lastly, how do you plan to apply what you learn?
I want to bring my overseas experiences home with me to empower the community I currently live in to think globally and act locally. I want to engage young people from rural communities in Australia to expand their ideas of the world. I want to be a leader in the humanitarian and community fields and bring these two disciplines together to create opportunities for people of all communities and backgrounds. Ideally I want to change the world, but it’s just one step at a time.
If you would like to help Jade reach her goals of getting to Ahmedabad and beyond, you can donate or share her story from her GoFundMe page.
Find out more about studying Humanitarian and Community Studies and other degrees in the field. If you’re a CDU student, discover more about opportunities to study overseas.