Penglipuran is a traditional oldest bali village at Bangli Regency - Bali, Indonesia

Discover a world of possibilities with a Diploma of Language Studies

30 April 2024
Embark on a journey of discovery through languages and cultures
Alexander Meekin shares his experience of learning a new language and how it has shaped his academic and professional journey.
Alexander Meekin presenting at Universitas Nasional

Alexander Meekin is a graduate from the University of Sydney, who took a Diploma of Language Studies while completing his combined Bachelor of Commerce (Economics) and Bachelor of Science (Honours) with majors in Geography and Physics.

Alexander’s interest in studying Indonesian began in high school. Through his Diploma of Language Studies, he continued to explore his passion and had the opportunity to attend a summer school while travelling in Lombok.

“Studying a language at university is so much more than learning how to speak or read and write,” Alexander said.

Through my Diploma of Language Studies, I cemented my fascination and love for Indonesia from a language perspective but also its culture, history, contemporary society and politics through the texts, lectures and discussions.
Alexander Meekin

How language acquisition can unlock opportunity 

Throughout his studies at the University of Sydney, Indonesia became a consistent theme that shaped Alexander’s academic journey. 

“I completed my honours in geography with field work interviewing cocoa farmers in Sulawesi, something I was only able to do due to the language and cultural capability I'd honed from my diploma,” Alexander said. 

After graduating from university Alexander began a graduate program at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to follow his passion to work internationally on global issues for a greater purpose. 

“Luckily, I haven't been disappointed and had the opportunity to work at the Australian Embassy in Jakarta for three years on a posting,” Alexander said.  

“Having a qualification in Indonesian would have helped to get there, and certainly the language and cultural skills I'd learnt reading, writing, talking about Indonesia helped in Jakarta,” he said. 

Alexander Meekin standing infront of aeroplane

Mastering transferrable skills

Now Alexander works for the Centre for Australia-India Relations within DFAT and despite moving away from working in Indonesia, Alexander believes his Indonesian Studies have set him up with transferrable skills to continue to excel professionally. 

“In my role I work on broadening and deepening Australia-India relations through business links, community ties, cultural connections and increased understanding,” Alexander said. 

“India is not Indonesia, but I'd like to think some of the knowledge and skills I developed from my Diploma of Language Studies helped me in my role today particularly deep diving into another culture via its language and trying to make sense of it all.”  

Alexander Meekin on a field

An academic journey forged by passion 

Reflecting on his academic and professional journey, Alexander encourages anyone considering a Diploma of Language Studies to pursue their passion and study what they find interesting.

“Studying a language at university is fun, and such a great opportunity to develop language skills and a deep understanding of another country and culture,” he said. 

“Skills like communicating across cultures and understanding different perspectives are completely transferable, whether you want to become a translator or just nurture your fascination in a particular language and culture.”

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