Postcard from India: Interning in New Delhi

1 March 2013

(L-R) Kira Spucys-Tahar and fellow student Ashleigh Green. Both are interning in India.
(L-R) Kira Spucys-Tahar and fellow student Ashleigh Green. Both are interning in India.

Where can media and communications studies at the University of Sydney take you?

Eleven of our intrepid students have embarked on international journalism internships after securing prestigious fellowships.

Kira Spucys-Tahar - the first Sydney student to be sent to India via the program - is working at The Indian Express in New Delhi, where she's conducting interviews, attending press conferences and exploring the city.

Since 2001 the Department of Media and Communications (MECO) in the University's Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences has offered travelling fellowships to countries in Asia.

Beginning with a week at the Australian embassy of that country and then four weeks at an English-language news organisation, it could be an overwhelming experience if not for weekends.

"I'm really lucky because it's not all work and no play," says Kira. "I get weekends off and have travelled to Agra to visit the famed Taj Mahal, and to the 'pink city' of Jaipur in Rajasthan. I've also explored the local markets and visited some of Delhi's many monuments."

The media coverage about the dangers for women travellers has definitely affected Kira's experience though. "Here in Delhi especially," she says, "there is constant news about the gang rape that occurred in December and how the authorities are trying to respond to the public outcry. I'm just trying my best to be sensible and follow the local customs as much as possible, so as not to draw undue attention to myself."

Despite this, Kira sees engagement in Southeast Asia and India as essential to Australia and the University. "The Australian government's release of the White Paper demonstrates just how vital it is for us to engage with countries in our region," she says, "and for Sydney Uni there's a great advantage in having students connect with regional issues and leading professionals. This is an important learning experience not only in terms of cultural exchange but also in terms of learning about the media practices in another country."

Kira is in her final year of a Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communications) with a double major in English and Government and International Relations, and was part of the 2012 editorial team on the University's student newspaper, Honi Soit.

"When I finish my degree ideally I would love to work as a news journalist covering politics, so this opportunity is a fantastic way for me to combine my passions," she says.

Learn more about these fellowships and the other students involved, and keep up-to-date with their adventures via the Media and Communications student blog.

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Enquiries: David Sams, 9351 3703,