We recently announced the 2019 winner, and thought it would be a great time to follow up with Amberly about her experience.
What were you expecting for this experience, and was it all that you had hoped?
I tried to go into this experience with few expectations and a lot of curiosity, however the previous Curtin cohorts were adamant about how the Stanford program would be a fun, challenging and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I think it certainly lived up to these things – making friends from all over the world, getting to explore the city and campus, and participating in interesting but challenging classes definitely made this an incredible experience!
Was there something that was an unexpected bonus?
The food! We were told a few stories about how horrendous and repetitive the cafeteria food would be, but it actually turned out to be great. It did get a little repetitive towards the end of the experience, but luckily UberEats delivered directly to our dorm.
One of my classes also had a visit from the previous US ambassador to the UN as a Stanford alumni. It was incredible to hear of her experience working in the UN, and especially her experiences with different human rights issues. Having notable alumni drop into class seemed to be the norm at Stanford, which was surreal!
Do you think that this experience has altered your career plans in any way?
One of the greatest parts of the experience was being involved in classes that had students and staff from a variety of backgrounds, which brought about many unique insights. This gave me a taste for using my Curtin degree more fully, whether that means working overseas, working within a team of international colleagues, or working on international issues. This wasn’t something I was seriously considering before going on this experience. I studied an intensive human rights course while at Stanford, which also gave me a greater understanding of particular global issues, and affirmed my passion for working in this field.
Where to now? Will you alter anything now that you are back in Australia that will build on this experience?
It was such a whirlwind to return from the US and jump straight into the middle of the Curtin semester, so I think I am still processing and reflecting how I’ll be using the experience going forward! With the value I got from the human rights courses, I will be looking for ways where I can use my current studies in Psychology and Law to be involved in this area.
As someone who was not previously eager to travel, I’m definitely now more open to overseas opportunities! I will be looking into the possibility of future international development opportunities to make my Curtin experience even richer.