Luke Courtois

Luke Courtois

Luke Courtois was the quintessential third-culture kid growing up, spending most of his schooling in France. However, when his family moved to southern Thailand where his mother was principal of an international school, his passion for languages hit a new high.

"That's where my interest in Thai came from," explained Luke, who is majoring in the language as part of his Bachelor of International Security Studies. "I also saw for the first time that Australia and Thailand have a strong, important relationship, and how language is a key to improving mutual understanding."

Having lived in Canberra previously, he described ANU as "the perfect choice" given his interest in international security. "On top of that, ANU is the only Australian university that offers Thai as a major to full-time students in person, so that was an added bonus," he said.

In addition to Southeast Asian Frontiers, an in-country course for ANU Thai-language students that develops their analytical and linguistic skills, there are other enriching research opportunities for students with advanced language skills.

In July 2017, Luke attended a conference at Chiang Mai University that was funded by a research grant. The experience further cemented his public-service career ambitions.

"I want to work in the (Southeast Asia) region, either in defence or foreign affairs," he said.

Small class sizes and a highly personalised learning environment make studying Thai a rewarding, if less travelled, path, he added.

"Studying Thai is very beneficial because relatively few people choose it. The opportunities to travel to Thailand allow you to not only master the language, but also understand how Thais view their region and the world," Luke said.

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