Meet Oliver Friedmann

Oliver Friedmann

"My study path has been tumultuous to say the least. I have changed my degree four times and been to two different universities. But this journey has given me a fantastic appreciation for what one should look for in a degree, and the PhB is certainly the best program I have ever come across.

I made my way into the Asian Studies stream from a politics and economics program because I wanted to engage specifically with area studies of some kind. It is great to learn political, social and economic theory,  but it is even better if you can apply that knowledge to an area of the world that is becoming more and more important to us as Australians. What I found, however, was that Asian Studies at ANU offers so much more than just applicable knowledge. The Asian studies classrooms are dynamic and each course is nuanced. I have been part of a course that developed an Asian focused student publication called Monsoon. I have studied Buddhist Philosophy. I have taken courses in both Thailand and Burma, and am looking forward to engaging with many more overseas and alternative study environments over the next few years.

The PhB has become one of the most profound and formative educational experiences I have ever engaged with. The PhB allows me to actively craft my educational experience, which is of particular importance to me. I have been able to choose subjects freely and engage with a number of different academic communities. I have developed fantastic relationships with academics from all over the world and their mentorship has been invaluable. Most of the subjects I have undertaken involve significant independence. My projects have ranged from developing a youth media platform that tackles digital disruption with a team who currently runs one of the largest academic Southeast Asian focused blogs in the world , to writing a long form essay on New Age spirituality and indigenous appropriation with a culture and literature specialist who’s current research focuses on yoga. I cannot understate how important this mentorship has been. The staff at ANU are progressive, inspiring and always seem to have time for young students amongst their very busy schedules. 

The PhB has given me opportunities that I would not have received anywhere else. I am looking forward to the next few years, which I’m sure will contain more overseas experience, more language learning and more engagement with digital disruption in Asia and the wider world." 

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Updated:  24 April, 2017/Responsible Officer:  Dean, ANU College of Asia & the Pacific/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team