Nila Freisleben

Country: Indonesia/Germany
Degree: Bachelor of International Studies
Faculty: Arts, Business, Law and Economics

Note: The Bachelor of International Studies is now known as the Bachelor of International Relations.

Why did you choose the University of Adelaide?
“My Mum studied for her PhD at a university in Sydney when I was in primary school and her positive experience influenced my decision to study in Australia. I looked at universities offering ‘International Studies’ courses. I was attracted to the University of Adelaide because it is a Group of 8 University, because of its reputation and the fact it is one of the oldest universities in Australia.”

What do you like about the university?
“I like the atmosphere on campus and the multi-cultural make-up of the students and staff.  It really is a coming together of cultures.  I also love the architecture and being surrounded by all of the old, historical buildings on campus.”
“As a student, you never get bored here, there is always something happening on campus.  I love the fact the Hub is open 24 hours a day, seven days week. I couldn’t ever pull an ‘all-nighter’, but I like the fact you could if you wanted to!” 

What did you like about your course?
“I decided to do international studies because I enjoyed travelling and wanted to learn more about the world and how it works. International Studies is mainly the study of politics and history and my course has taught me a lot about different political systems and countries.  I really like the fact tutorials are interactive and encourage students to debate, present and discuss their ideas. One of the highlights of my course was receiving tutorials from famous Australian politicians, such as Alexander Downer (Australia’s longest serving Foreign Minister) and Natasha Stott-Despoja (Australia’s youngest women to become a member of parliament).”

An international student wouldn’t necessarily think of going on exchange, but the exchange program is an opportunity not to be missed.

Nila Friesleben

Which subjects did you like the most?
“Two subjects I really enjoyed were ‘Human Rights and Post-Colonial Issues’ and ‘State of the World: Poverty, Governance and Justice’, which dealt with developing countries and selected issues that were relevant to one of my home countries, Indonesia. It made me realise I wanted to go on and study for a Masters in Development Studies.”

Where do you see yourself working?
“I would like to work in Indonesia but having said that I also want to travel and see the world. I hope in the long run to be able to apply my theoretical knowledge to working for a non-government organisation.”

How did you get interested in International Studies?
“In my last 3 years of school in Germany I had an amazing politics teacher who really inspired me and captured my interest in the subject.  Both of my parents are scientists and I thought it would be a nice change if I did something completely different.” 

What do you do outside study?
‘I was lucky enough to work on campus for much of my degree. At the end of my first year, I started volunteering as a Peer Mentor and then went on to manage the Facebook page for incoming international students.  This led to a student ambassador position in the Contact Centre and eventually a position in The Hub.  Working on campus was so convenient. I could just walk out of a lecture and go straight to work!”
“I was involved in the French and German Clubs and directed several of their annual plays. Joining sporting, cultural and language clubs is a great way to make friends with both local and international students.”

You went on exchange to France whilst you were here?
“Yes, it was a challenge but a great experience.  I lived in a country I had never lived in before and attended lectures in French.  It was hard explaining to people that I was Indonesian and German but from Australia....well, kind of!”

Do you have any advice for future students?
“Adelaide is a great city to study in. When you are not studying, you have the beach and the hills on your doorstep.”

“An international student wouldn’t necessarily think of going on exchange but the exchange program is growing every year and it is an opportunity not to be missed.”