A yearning to study medical anthropology and build on her arts degree has led Amy Walters to leave Western Australia to study a Master of Culture, Health and Medicine.
Amy has a Bachelor of Arts (Italian and European Studies) and began the course in July 2014 part-time, while also working.
“I found the Master’s on the internet and realised how unique it was, and also how applied it was,” Amy recalls.
“It addressed a lot of social problems, it was very practical and social policy-oriented, and that’s why I chose it.”
Her arts degree included many human rights subjects and Amy wrote her honours thesis on the European Union’s asylum seeker policies.
“I was always very interested in marginalisation, and I worked as a research assistant in the anthropology department at the University of Western Australia and that’s how I became interested in studying anthropology further,” Amy says.
“I’m in the Master’s general stream, but I’ve chosen units based on my interests and what I hope to do in the future. Eventually I’m aiming to do a PhD based on the Bosnian genocide."
“I want to bring in anthropology, and also go back to my European studies and bring the two together. For example, this semester I’m doing units on violence, which will inform my future study.”
Amy has enjoyed all of her lecturers, who bring to their subjects a wealth of expertise, such as in field work.
“They give you lots of practical tips about how to go into the field and what to expect, so I do feel quite prepared from what they’ve shared with us.”
Amy says she is glad for the experiences she is getting at ANU and the diversity of the topics covered.
“What I’ve enjoyed most is that the units are in-depth and we look at a wide range of social problems but really get to the issues that are at the heart of those problems,” Amy says.
“We go beyond what the public thinks is an okay solution to many of those problems. We think: ‘what‘s going on here?’ And we think of alternative and creative solutions. That’s what I really like best."
“I feel really well-prepared to enter the social policy field. I feel I’ve gained a unique perspective that will be an advantage in my future career."
“There’s also the satisfaction in studying something that’s stimulating and you’re always meeting like-minded people, so you’re bouncing ideas around with them.”