Our Students

isabella gorrez


Why are you passionate about government and international relations?

I started this degree wanting to learn more about how international organisations work and about the different mechanisms, processes and challenges of international relations. I’ve since grown in my passion for learning about political participation and digital media, and how my beloved social media can have an impact on politics and policy! I’m also really interested in my generation of digital natives and how we are shaping politics.

What internships or placement programs have you participated in?

I participated in the United States Studies Centre Media and Communications Internship. I’m very passionate about US politics, particularly with the Presidential Election being held this year, so I’ve loved supporting the USSC Media Team in managing their social media accounts and developing new ways to convey the complexities of US politics through social media. I’ve also been able to attend some great events, including a panel that David Rothkopf was involved in, and a farewell event for the US Ambassador to Australia John Berry.

What did you enjoy most about your major?

My major is Government and International Relations. The third year subjects in this major have been the highlight of my studies, as they have moved beyond familiar theories to real-world application, and have allowed me to choose subjects that I am very passionate about and want to focus on in my career. These have included Digital Politics, US Foreign Policy and Islam and Democracy in the Muslim World, which have all involved learning and completing practical skills in classes like content analysis of Facebook and Twitter, or developing a policy for the President!

What advice would you give someone considering studying your degree?

Use your first year to work out what you’re passionate about, then find different ways to pursue these passions outside of the classroom! This could be through internships, societies, events, academic seminars, blogs, Twitter - attend and participate in as many things as you can. It’ll make your degree more interesting, allow you to contribute more in classes, and give you a huge depth of knowledge that’ll make your uni experience so much richer.

Nicholas West


Why are you passionate about government and international relations?

I have had an interest in politics since my final years of schooling thanks to close friend who persuaded me into the area. Since then, as I undertook my first year at Sydney University, I became more and more interested the more that I learnt. The importance of the decisions made in the public sphere and the impacts they have on our lives furthered my desire to discover more, and help shape the decisions that are made.

What did you enjoy most about your major?

This major has been so enjoyable as there are such a broad range of topics on offer. This really allowed me to follow my interests and gain a greater understanding of the different facets of the discipline, as well as allowing me to meet other passionate students that are interested in the same things as you.

What advice would you give someone considering studying your discipline?

I think it is important to choose subjects that you have a genuine interest in and are passionate about. Be prepared to put in a lot of effort into each subject because you will gain so much more from a unit if you do. Don’t be afraid to explore your horizons as you may find something incredible that you may not have even considered before.



What did you enjoy most about the Government and International Relations major?

The Government and International Relations Major is extremely exciting; each semester of study is different because of the breadth of subjects offered in the Department. The University’s focus on the variation of subjects means that its academics are not just providers of general knowledge, rather the units they teach reflect their specific areas of research from International Security to Environmental Politics. The opportunity to engage with academics so passionate about their individual fields of expertise is so refreshing and is what makes Sydney University so special.

Why are you passionate about this topic area?

I have always been interested in International Affairs, understanding different foreign cultures and policies. At university I wanted to broaden my understanding of a culture by studying a language in depth, at Sydney I have been able to do this. I have also always been passionate about social justice, particularly achieving human rights. The degree allows me to understand the political aspects of this with Government subjects, for instance the geopolitical effect of mass migration but also social aspects by engaging in Anthropology and Political Economy units.

What are you doing now and what's next for you?

As a second year student in the Government and International Relations Major, I look forward to the opportunity of going on a University exchange in the near future. I hope to have a career in the foreign affairs sector of Government or in Social Justice work for Human Rights.

Bryan Chan


Why are you passionate about politics?

I am highly passionate about politics because I believe in certain essential values which I think need to be upheld in governance for the general well-being of the community as well as social progress and economic advancement.

Have you taken part in any work placement or exchange programs during your degree?

I have participated in a variety of internships including attachments at a law firm, a bank and a television broadcast network.

What did you enjoy most about the major?

What I enjoyed most about this major is how it teaches people the importance of rationality in policy decision-making, and the error of basing governance on hasty, emotional responses to issues.

Who inspires you?

Someone who I have the utmost respect for is Arnold Schwarzeneggar, as I believe the accomplishments he has managed to accumulate since migrating to the US with limited resources and knowledge of the language are unique and nothing short of phenomenal.

What advice would you give someone considering studying your discipline?

The advice I would give to someone considering studying politics is to be prepared to encounter a great variety of opinions which will inevitably conflict with your own. Dealing with those opinions and interests is after all, a central part of politics.