Skip to main content
Start of main content

Student stories

Stephanie’s on a mission to create lasting change

This article appears in: High school to uni, Humanitarian, Disaster and Emergency Management
CDU student Stephanie von Kanel standing in front of a United Nations sign.

Stephanie hopes to use the knowledge and experiences gained while studying a Bachelor of Humanitarian and Community Studies with CDU to initiate social change. 

Why did you choose CDU?

At the end of Year 12, I started researching degrees which involved humanitarian studies. I was really surprised to see that CDU had the oldest and most established course in this area of study. The Bachelor of Humanitarian and Community Studies was exactly what I had envisioned for a degree and to find that at CDU was incredibly lucky!

What motivated you to study?

I have always loved knowledge and the process of learning. It’s something my family always supported and encouraged. I think learning/studying can be the most transformative experience. 

I want to initiate action through knowledge and collective empowerment. Though these are big statements, I truly believe that by aligning your fundamental beliefs with your work you can create positive and lasting change.

After completing my Bachelor of Humanitarian and Community Development, I would like to study a Master's degree in the field. I have an interest in migration studies and the effects this has on both refugees and host communities/countries. Because of this I would also like to volunteer in the Mediterranean, particularly Lesvos Island or Turkey. 

CDU student Stephanie von Kanel hugs another person

What do you like most about studying with CDU?

I really like the multicultural make up of CDU. It is such a diverse university which has been able to integrate students from all over the world to form one community. It really has been incredible to be a student at a small university that still manages to have such a diverse range of cultures, languages, backgrounds and ages among students.

It truly feels like whenever you meet someone you always have something to learn and something to share.

My course also continues to surprise me each semester. It really is a unique combination of theoretical underpinnings and practical involvement in relevant topics in the field of humanitarian, disaster and emergency management.

There really are so many things which I love about the course. But the main thing would be the feeling of always being engaged and involved in the subjects being studied. 

What has been a highlight so far?

In the first year, a project I developed for a unit in Design and Innovation: Communicating Technology was selected for the national competition in Perth. Though this was incredible, the most rewarding part was combining my humanitarian studies and ideals with a pragmatic and creative engineering student.

Throughout this project I learnt so much more from working in partnership from someone studying a completely different career path - it amazes me how much we can learn from one another.

What are your top tips for uni?

I found the first year was a hugely transitional year. The process of adjusting to university workload took a few weeks, but ultimately it was great. I learned that the best thing for assessments is to start them early. It’s very difficult to motivate yourself to do this, but when you do it, it’s so rewarding and reduces your stress levels tenfold.

I also recommend establishing connections with people who have similar interests as you on an academic level. It's very enlightening. 

I have met some of the most interesting, kind and driven people while studying.

Ready to start or advance your career in Humanitarian, Disaster and Emergency Management? Explore CDU's unique undergraduate and postgraduate courses in this exciting field. 


Explore 300+ courses

Certificates, diplomas and degrees

Related Articles

Back to top