Looking to Asia

In 2016 ANU graduated its 100,000th alumnus. We asked ATHALIA IRWANSJAH BA/BAS (Korean) ’13, MA Asia-Pacific Studies (Hons) ’16, about her time at University and how it felt to be part of the next generation of ANU alumni.

I was born and raised in the nation’s capital and commenced my studies at ANU in 2008 following my father who is also an ANU alumnus.

I remember attending a ‘Be an Asian Studies student for a day’ session at ANU in year 9 or 10. I was studying Japanese and wanted to see where my appetite for languages could take me.

The University’s ‘Year in Asia’ program really piqued my interest and I was set on applying ever since.

By the time I was ready to apply for ANU, I had taken more of an interest in Korean and elected to choose it as my language major. I enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Asian Studies (Specialist) where I took majors in international relations and linguistics.

I encountered a Korean student in one of my first-year classes and began a language exchange. This continued for many years and we still keep in touch.The diversity of ANU students makes it easy to meet people from around the world. I was able to utilise the language I had learnt in the classroom and apply it almost immediately.