I am Kim-Marie Spence, PhD Student (Crawford School, CAP) and Vice-President of PARSA (twice! Is that a record?!). PARSA is the Postgraduate and Research Students' Association here at the ANU.
Coming back to school was a difficult decision for me, as I was already working and enjoying (non-student) life in my home country of Jamaica. But I was offered an Australia Awards scholarship and decided to pack and move halfway across the world (really!) by myself to study at ANU and get that PhD. This is my third time as an international student, having studied at Oxford (UK) and Wesleyan universities (US).
For the incoming Postgraduates, especially, I have two words of advice - 'get involved' PARSA is an important part of my ANU experience. At first I got involved because I had moved away from all that was familiar and wanted to make new friends! But I learnt other things. The ANU Postgraduate community is a very diverse one. The PARSA Council itself has approximately 10 or so different nationalities represented on its 29-member council. I have become much more of a global citizen learning how to be sensitive and work with persons from different cultural and religious backgrounds easily. And this is after living in about 6 different countries!
PARSA is more than a multicultural social community. It is a support and advocacy network for all postgraduates. The PARSA staff includes lawyers, assistance officers, marketing and communications manager and the elected student representatives. We are here to help and support you.
And all ANU Postgraduates are automatically members of PARSA. Check out our website and our Facebook page! Join us this O-week. I met my housemate at a PARSA event...and we have lived happily ever after!
Vice-President, PARSA 2017