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Stephanie’s on a mission to create positive and lasting change

This article appears in:
Student Stories, From High School to Uni, Humanitarian, Disaster and Emergency Management

Stephanie hopes to use the knowledge and experiences gained while studying a Bachelor of Humanitarian and Community Studies with CDU to initiate social change. 

I want to initiate action through knowledge and collective empowerment. Though these are big statements, I truly believe that by aligning your fundamental beliefs with your work you can create positive and lasting change.

Why did you choose CDU?

At the end of Year 12, I started researching degrees which involved Humanitarian studies. I was really surprised to see that CDU had the oldest and most established course in this area of study. The Bachelor of Humanitarian and Community Studies was exactly what I had envisioned for a degree and to find that at CDU was incredibly lucky!

What motivated you to take on study?

I have always loved knowledge and the process of learning. It’s something my family always supported and encouraged. I think learning/studying can be the most transformative experience. 

What are your goals?

After completing my Bachelor of Humanitarian and Community Development, I would like to study a Master of Sustainability, Human Development and Innovation. I have an interest in migration studies and the effects this has on both refugees and host communities/countries. Because of this I would also like to volunteer in the Mediterranean, particularly Lesvos Island or Turkey. 

What do you like most about studying with CDU?

I really like the multicultural make up of CDU. It is such a diverse university which has been able to integrate students from all over the world to form one community. 

The course I am studying continues to surprise me each semester.

What has been the most challenging aspect of studying for you?

I have found it very difficult to keep up motivation for my studies, especially during the second Semester. I also struggle with time management and this often has a domino effect on social, familial and financial aspects of life. But all in all studying has been more uplifting than negative. 

What do you like most about studying your specific course?

The course I am studying continues to surprise me each semester. It really is a unique combination of theoretical underpinnings and practical involvement in relevant topics. There really are so many things which I love about the course. But the main thing would be the feeling of always being engaged and involved in the subjects being studied. 

The first year can often be the most challenging – how did you find the first year of study?

I found the first year was a hugely transitional year. The process of adjusting to university workload took a few weeks, but ultimately it was great. Also, being able to establish connections with people who have very similar interests as you on an academic level was very enlightening. 

What is your top study tip?

The best thing for assessments is to start them early. It’s very difficult to motivate yourself to do this, but when you do it, it’s so rewarding and reduces your stress levels tenfold.

You always have something to learn and something to share.

Have you made friends along the way?

I have met some of the most interesting, kind and driven people while studying. It really has been incredible to be a student at a small university that still manages to have such a diverse range of cultures, languages, backgrounds and ages among students. It truly feels like whenever you meet someone you always have something to learn and something to share.

What has been a highlight so far?

In the first year, a project I developed for a unit in Design and Innovation: Communicating Technology was selected for the national competition in Perth. Though this was incredible, the most rewarding part was combining my humanitarian studies and ideals with a pragmatic and creative engineering student. Throughout this project I learnt so much more from working in partnership from someone studying a completely different career path - it amazes me how much we can learn from one another.

Is there a lecturer/educator/mentor that you would like to thank or give mention to?

I have had such wonderful lecturers throughout my time studying at CDU. However, none of that would be possible without Adriana Stibral who is the course coordinator for my degree. Students of the Bachelor of Humanitarian and Community Studies course don’t see her much until placements, but she is very present and active throughout the degree. 

Find out more about the Bachelor of Humanitarian and Community Studies.


This article appears in:
Student Stories, From High School to Uni, Humanitarian, Disaster and Emergency Management

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