An Australian goes abroad

Getting a European perspective on digital information and media culture in Hamburg. Emily Rawle from Melbourne, Australia, fulfilled her goal of studying abroad in Germany and became a whole new person in the process.

Smiling student sitting at a desk in the university library

Emily Rawle

Emily Rawle, a journalism student at Deakin University in Melbourne, always knew she wanted to study abroad. What surprised us was that Germany was the clear goal from the start. When she told us she spoke German, we were intrigued. What is an Australian doing learning German? Not that we want to get into a discussion on stereotypes, but we don’t come across it very often. 'It's a funny story,' she explains. 'I started learning German in high school. For three years I learned the basics of the grammar and some vocabulary – and the whole time I totally hated it! I didn't really have the drive to keep up, so I dropped out of the class at the first chance I got. I came to regret this a year later when I got into a web comic called “Hetalia”. It has a German character that I found really interesting. At the time I was struggling with classic adolescent self-doubt and frustration, but discovered that when I started learning German again, I had a new sense of motivation. I was the only one in my year level to be learning a language on my own. It quickly became something unique to me and I was proud to have that skill.'