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In Pursuit of World-Class Education: Q&A with Hannah Knight

Posted 7th June 2022

Hannah Knight came from the US to Australia because she wanted an international experience and world-class education – and CMU-A ticked all the boxes.

At first glance, studying Public Policy at CMU-A might seem an unusual choice for someone with an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering, like Hannah – but she credits an eye-opening study abroad trip for motivating her sudden career change.

Hannah spoke to us about her CMU-A experience so far, and everything Adelaide has to offer.

Tell us your background and what you're studying at CMU Australia?

My undergraduate education is in Chemical Engineering, so making the decision to study public policy was quite the career change! During my undergrad, I was fortunate enough to research four different energy technologies. While on a study abroad in Malawi, I saw how none of these energy technologies had reached most of the population there. Why had so much technological innovation not reached these people yet? It all came down to government. There are many reasons why governments fail to integrate technology into society. As for me, I'm studying public policy to understand how I can help governments integrate more technology into their cities and programs.

Why did you choose CMU-A?

I chose CMU-A because I wanted an international experience and a world-class education. CMU-A is a top university that offers students a window into world government. There's no substitute for collaboration when it comes to learning. CMU-A students, myself included, experience a rich diversity of thought as a result of many cultures coming together here in Australia.

There's no substitute for collaboration when it comes to learning. CMU-A students, myself included, experience a rich diversity of thought as a result of many cultures coming together here in Australia.

How are your classes so far?

My classes have been really eye-opening. I'm used to viewing the world through concrete measurements like temperature or distance. Economics has especially opened my eyes to new ways to look at the world, such as human-behavior-driven supply and demand.

Any highlights you want to share?

The "Welcome Event" was extremely memorable. A member of the Kaurna tribe told us the history of the Aboriginal people who first inhabited Adelaide. It was amazing to hear about their culture, art, and hear some didgeridoo music played as well!

What was your first impression of Adelaide when you finally arrived?

My first impression of Adelaide was while I was living downtown and apartment-hunting. On my walks to school, I would pass local cafes, corner stores, artisan shops, and bakeries that were all one-of-a-kind. Most people around Victoria Square were dressed in business professional attire, which gave the city a very stately feeling. The brick buildings and stone columns also recall a stately feeling that can be dated back to the early British colonists. The city itself is small and walkable which I loved. It also had access to malls, grocery stores, and anything you'd need – including the Central Market where local farmers come to sell the most amazing produce!

Hannah Knight chose to study public policy to understand how she can help governments integrate more technology into their cities and programs.

What do you think of the Carnegie Mellon campus in Adelaide?

The Carnegie Mellon campus is in a great location. Again, a big plus for me is that it's close to the amazing Adelaide Central Market. There's even an "Anytime Fitness" just down the street, if you're a big gym-goer. The campus also has great amenities and student facilities. There are private/public study rooms, a kitchen/eating area, an outdoor courtyard, and a student break room with a TV and ping pong table. (At least I hear ping pong is a thing? Though I haven't played any students yet!)

What are some of your favourite things to do in Adelaide?

Adelaide has some incredible biking and hiking trails. Some of my favorites are Eagle Mountain Bike Park, Cleland Reservation, and the Morialta Reservation! They're great places to get some fresh air, and even a bit of downhill action! We see koalas and kangaroos almost every time we go.

Adelaide also has great beaches -- some of our favorites have been Noarlunga, Glenelg and Semaphore. Semaphore has a fun walking trail, and Noarlunga has stairs down from the jetty (Aussie for pier) where you can walk directly into the water and snorkel over to a big blockade in the ocean!

One last note: Adelaide also has a really fun festival season in March. Definitely check out the food trucks and events that come through, and pay attention to Student Services emails for free tix!

What do you think of the local community in Adelaide?

The locals in Adelaide are amazing. One of our favorite things about Adelaide is how nice the locals were who sold us our furniture from Facebook Marketplace. That should probably stick out as a huge plus for this city because online marketplace transactions are usually a pain, but they were actually really enjoyable because the people here are so nice!

Would you consider living in Adelaide if you had the chance?

We would absolutely consider living here. Adelaide has it all -- and the crazy part is, it's like no one knows about it yet! It's not even crowded!

Do you have any advice for other students who are considering Adelaide for their studies?

Just do it – take the leap and move to Australia! Don't worry about the hassle factors and don't try to set it all up before you come here. There are lots of people here to help you find housing and get settled. You will definitely regret not making it here and seeing just how amazing this place is!

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