Asuka Katsuno worked in a busy hospital in Tokyo before she decided to quit her job and take up nursing in Sydney. During a brief trip back to Japan, she attended a seminar run by The Australian National University and discovered the postgraduate study options offered by ANU College of Asia & the Pacific.
When Asuka Katsuno tells the story of how she quit nursing to study International Relations, people tend to have the same surprised reaction.
“People think they’re unrelated, but health and IR are actually quite closely linked,” she said.
“I’m particularly interested in global health policy, and opportunities to contribute with NGOs and humanitarian organisations.”
After completing a preparatory English course on campus, Asuka began her Master program in the spring semester.
“I only started two months ago, and I’m taking two intensive courses this semester. Classes are quite small, and I feel at home conversing and debating with other students. It’s a great learning environment,” she said.
“It’s really clear that the lecturers have a passion for teaching International Relations, and they do so in a way that’s easy for students like me to wrap their heads around.”
Asuka particularly enjoys being surrounded by diversity in the classroom. More than half of the students in her classes are not from Australia.
“Every day there are opportunities to communicate with people from different backgrounds,” she added.
The attraction of studying at ANU isn’t just the small class sizes, dedicated lecturers, and diversity of students. Asuka is also a big fan of Australia’s capital city, the most liveable city on the planet according to the OECD.
“I prefer Canberra to Tokyo and Sydney. It’s quiet and relaxed. There’s so much nature – kangaroos are everywhere! If your studies are making you stress, you can just walk around the beautiful campus and you’ll feel better,” she said.