David Sprinkle in Hangzhou

CHL student of the week: David Sprinkle

15th March 2018

David Sprinkle is working towards a new career as a China specialist.

‘I’d previously worked in media, stakeholder engagement, and environmental policy, but I’d always had a passion to learn more about Chinese culture and history,’ he says. ‘I decided that as China continues to develop economically it’s very important to be more aware about other cultures that we’re engaging with.’

He chose to enrol in the Master of Asian and Pacific Studies (MAPS) at ANU. The degree provides students with a broad knowledge of the Asia-Pacific region and the opportunity to develop specialist expertise in a specific country or discipline.

As David explains, ‘for me it was about the range of great scholars who knew about China, and also the opportunities that could present themselves around future work opportunities by studying and learning more about Asia and the Pacific.’

David has appreciated making new connections amongst the diverse cohort of students in the program.

‘The MAPS experience is quite fun, you meet people from all over the world, from Singapore, Papua New Guinea, Canada, America, and China coming to study the Asia-Pacific here at ANU,’ he says.

David has been able to develop a comprehensive knowledge of China through studying its language, culture, history and politics. He is fascinated by China’s modernisation and economic development and is currently completing his final research project on the Belt and Road initiative.

He also had the opportunity to spend a semester at Nanjing University in China, where he undertook intensive Chinese language classes.

‘The great thing about Nanjing University was that the local students were always willing to help us improve our Chinese. So I made some good friends there,’ David recalls. He also explored Nanjing’s vibrant heritage and culture and travelled to other cities in China, including Hangzhou and Shanghai.

‘The opportunity to go over to China as a part of the MAPS program is something that’s really quite unique, and it gives ANU an edge for people who want to engage with China on a deeper level,’ he says.

David recommends the MAPS program to anyone who wants to develop their knowledge of the Asia-Pacific.

‘Education at the postgraduate level is really about engaging innovatively with new ideas and new challenges, and the Asia-Pacific is a region in which a number of economies are growing,’ he says. ‘To learn more about the cultures and communities in these areas is only going to benefit you in the future.’

Updated:  7 July 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, Culture, History & Language/Page Contact:  CHL webmaster