International education: From Albert Einstein to Kofi AnnanBy Bond University Jul 26, 2010 7:15PM UTC
By Rebecca Biazos,
If you are anything like me, the main thing you know of Albert Einstein is his theory of relativity. Right? So I was surprised to find myself quoting Einstein in my PhD thesis recently. As a new PhD candidate with Bond University in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences I am still in what I would call the “honeymoon” phase of my PhD journey. That is, I am relishing the chance to delve into the detail of my topic, spend days and weeks reading the latest journals and historical texts and have recently just started in earnest my writing tasks. Of course, this is mixed with the stress of gaining approvals and access to key stakeholders I need for my research and starting to try and turn my rough scribbles and words into a cohesive argument.
In my readings, one of my favourite quotes that I have come across was from none other than Albert Einstein himself, as quoted in Kegley (2006);
There is no scientific antidote (to the atomic bomb), only education. You’ve got to change the way people think. I am not interested in disarmament talks between nations…. What I want to do is to disarm the mind. After that, everything else will automatically follow. The ultimate weapon for such mental disarmament is international education.
My thesis is based on the premise that international education represents one of the most powerful tools that a country has in its public diplomacy toolkit. Yet despite this immense power inherent in international education, the Australian government and education providers have failed to capitalise on this valuable asset. Einstein’s quote reminded me that whilst the context of my research and my methodological approach are both new and innovative, the concept of international education as a tool for greater understanding and peace has been proven time and time again.
In these turbulent times, with global challenges of security, environmental degradation, economic crisis and social cohesion creating a career that can literally change the world would be more than just a noble aspiration but a wise career decision.
I can personally attest to the value and the diverse applications of gaining qualifications in international relations. Approaching international relations as an undergraduate or post graduate at Bond University offers students a range of international work placement and internship opportunities. My fellow graduates are in diverse careers including those working in government, business, international organisations and non government organisations – all in their own way, impacting the future of our world. As a Bond graduate and now a Bond student once again I was captured by this quote from Kofi Annan (former UN Secretary General)
“The world is at a critical juncture, and so are you…. Go ahead and make your plans… and don’t stop learning. But be open to the detours that lead to new discoveries”.
I am now actively seeking out those detours with the goal of new discoveries for my own scholarship but also that of the university and the broader community. If you want to play on the global stage- what are you waiting for?