Only in Canberra! One student's national capital experience

Betty Xiong

There are some experiences you can only get in Canberra.

Like having behind-the-scenes access to the corridors of power at Australian Parliament House. Or being in the room when policy decisions are made at our most prestigious government agencies and departments. Or working in the same labs as the very best minds in the country at Australia’s national university.

And since moving to Canberra from Melbourne, Betty Xiong has experienced them all.

The Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Engineering (Research and Development) student has worked part-time as a Parliamentary Assistant, been mentored by a leading academic from Australia’s national medical research centre, the John Curtin School of Medical Research, and completed an internship at the Office of the Chief Scientist.

“Being in Canberra and at ANU has meant I can see my degree in context,” Betty says.

“From the government perspective I’ve been able to see what bills they’re trying to pass and what policies they’re trying to get up.

“Then when I did the ANU Science Internship program at the Office of the Chief Scientist, I could see how those policies got there. Part of it was looking at science education policy, so it was applicable to my studies, whilst having a national impact.”

Betty says the breadth of her experiences has helped her “step outside of the box” and explore where she wants her degree to take her, in research and in other areas.

“University is a time when you discover what you like and don’t like, and ANU has been very accommodating and supportive of that.”

And her advice for anyone heading to Canberra?

“Look for opportunities because you never know what will pop up.”

Discover what the Science Internship Program can bring to your ANU degree.