Sarah Jones grew up outside of Bunbury in Western Australia. Her family all came from a medical background, and she had never met anyone who studied arts or who knew anything about her biggest interest, political science.
“It was a bit of a surprise when I told my parents that I wanted to study arts,” Sarah says. “My mum said that since I wasn’t very good at drawing maybe I should reconsider doing an arts degree!”
By visiting a university open day, and through online research, Sarah discovered that ANU had one of the best political science departments in the world. “It was amazing to think I might have access to that,” she remembers.
She also realised she could better explore her passion for how constitutions work if she combined her arts degree with law.
It wasn’t until she was at ANU that she was convinced to study Spanish too.
“I didn’t do a language at school, but I was talking to a lot of people studying languages during O-Week, and they convinced me to try some classes. I tried Spanish classes first, and loved it. And it makes so much sense to combine it with political science. Plus, I could have conversations with people when I travelled to South America over the summer.”
Sarah says her “big decision” to move across the country and study a double degree has paid off.
“The flexibility of the coursework has really suited me, and I’ve matched courses up between law and political science that gel really nicely. I didn’t realise how well all my courses would combine until I started putting them together.
“It was exciting at the beginning, and even in my third year it’s still exciting because each semester you take on something completely new. I can get out of the domestic setting in political science, or I can take Spanish and have an hour of social conservation every day. I don’t think I could ever get bored of my arts degree.”
Sarah says the diversity of ANU extends beyond the classroom, with clubs and societies to suit every interest, from the Fencing Club - of which she’s the Secretary - to the Harry Potter Club to the Chocolate Appreciation Society.
“ANU is like a community. You feel welcomed into a family. Canberra is like that too. It’s a big city, but it’s not overwhelming, it’s beautiful and it has a small town feel.”
Sarah has since graduated from the university.