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Please tell us about your profession. How did you end up in such an offbeat, unconventional and unusual career?
With a love for law nurtured through her undergraduate studies in India, Anjana has a strong focus on the influence of international law and politics, and the dynamic and often unique effects it can have on a global scale.
Anjana decided on the Master of Laws (International Law and Politics) at University of Canterbury, New Zealand to best investigate the challenges we face from changes to international laws.
‘In the ever-changing world of today, a comprehensive knowledge of international law as well as international relations is an asset to be treasured, and I felt that my degree would give me an added advantage,’ she says. ‘The degree of LLM(ILAP) combines twin streams of knowledge, bringing together law and politics, both of which are equally important in the international arena. I have always loved problem-solving and balancing both sides to any argument to find the most appropriate solution.’
How was the experience at Canterbury?
UC’s reputation for Law postgraduate studies was a huge influence for Anjana choosing to study here, and Anjana has certainly found the School of Law to be extremely supportive as she completed her studies.
‘I cannot sufficiently emphasise the role played by the School of Law, the staff of which have been immensely supportive throughout my stay here. My studies have been instructive, and my professors have been instrumental in improving my knowledge base, providing valuable guidance throughout my stay here in Canterbury.’
Choosing New Zealand was also her inspiration for deciding on UC for postgraduate study.
‘The international ranking of its Universities, and its consistently excellent ratings as a good place to live, study and work influenced my decision,’ she says. ‘New Zealand is a wonderful country to study in, and the different nationalities represented in the students at UC are a testimonial to the same. My classmates are of different nationalities, making our classes truly international.’
Can you tell us about your research?
Anjana’s particular area of interest in her research was the impact on the European Union during the possibility of Greece or Britain exiting. Carrying out her thesis before and during the aftermath of Brexit gave her the ‘novel experience of watching history in the making’.
‘My dissertation, which dealt with the fallout of a possible Grexit or Brexit, forced me to meet the challenge posed by the UK’s referendum head-on, and find answers to the multitude of questions arising out of an unprecedented event.
‘I have gained comprehensive knowledge in the fields of International Environmental Law, and European Public Law, along with substantive knowledge of the principles of international law and a better understanding of China as a global power; it has taught me to challenge myself anew, every day.’
How is the social life in New Zealand?
Alongside staying in Waimairi Village hall of residence, Anjana also got involved with campus life through joining the Postgraduate Students’ Association and the Student Volunteer Army, which has included taking part in community outreach events.
‘The University caters to international students in a variety of ways, including the many clubs and societies available for those of us who wish to join.
‘I have attended the memorial service for the earthquake of 22/02/2011; and more recently, I attended the ANZAC Day memorial service on 25th April. I have also participated in the day-long celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the 1996 World Court Judgement on Nuclear Weapons.
‘The University also played an important role in helping me to blend effortlessly into life in Christchurch. I found it easy, enjoyable and life-changing.’
The UC campus itself has been a great source for her passion in photography as well. ‘The green and picturesque campus provided abundant material for photography, which I took advantage of. The Avon River and the seasonal changes in the trees around campus were especially inspirational.’
Living in Christchurch during the earthquake recovery has also been an exciting opportunity due to her love for earthquakes and volcanoes outside of study.
‘I had always wanted to visit New Zealand, and the 2010-2011 earthquakes presented an additional reason to visit; especially as I was interested in experiencing the post-quake recovery first-hand. Staying in Christchurch has helped me to understand the mechanism of plate-tectonics better than I did before, adding to my existing knowledge.
‘In December 2015, I took a short break from my studies, and visited Rotorua and White Island. It was an informative and delightful trip, as I got to see an active volcano in action, along with experiencing some of the geothermal wonders of the North Island.’
What are your future plans?
With all her experiences so far, Anjana hopes to return and complete a PhD at UC, and one day work overseas. ‘I wish to expand my legal career to include the international arena, by utilising the expertise gained at UC; possibly working for the European Union, the International Court of Justice or the United Nations.
‘Both the Law and Political Science Departments have extremely supportive staff who have made me feel at home in UC. My experiences here have enriched my life, and improved it for the better.’