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Crawford School of Public Policy

Alex Rouse | Master of International and Development Economics

Alex Rouse is studying a Master of International and Development Economic at the Crawford School of Public Policy at the ANU in Canberra.

 My name is Alex, I study Masters of International and Development Economics. I work at the National Centre for Indigenous studies, I'm a researcher there. I work at the repartriation project which basically attempts to return all the stolen Aboriginal remains from overseas institutions and return them to their communities. 

What did you study in your undergraduate degree? 

I studied a Bachelor of International Global Studies at the University of Sydney. I majored in Politics and Government. 

Why did you apply for Crawford School? 

I came to Crawford because I always wanted to get into government work, NGO work or something international, so I thought Crawford, being an amazing school for Public Policy, I thought, "where else can you get into government than Crawford? ". There's nowhere else better to go. 

What was the process of applying for your degree? 

It was actually surprisingly easy. I can't remember exactly the process, but I think I just applied through the ANU website, and two weeks later, I got accepted. 

Can you describe a typical day at Crawford School? 

My typical day at Crawford is generally three or four hours of classes depending on the day. It varies. Then usuallly two to three hours of studying usually, we study in groups or I work on assignments alone. do some readings, then I have work in the afternoons so after that, I'll go to work and skip out early on my studies. 

What skills will your degree help you develop? 

There are a few very specific things that I wanted to get out of the course. One was the foundation of mathematical economics, the second was the ability to use a couple of really crucial programs like R, Python, or Stata. Third thing was to apply all these things in an international and policy framework. I didn't want to just study straight masters of economics. I thought how this is applied is absolutely crucial. 

How do you think this degree wiill help your career? 

As I mentioned earlier, I'm looking to go into something government or international. I think the economics with the public policy focus is a great, great framweork to work in the government. To see how policies actually affect society. How policies actually affect the country, and the economic basis for making these policies, I think is crucial to go into government. 

What is your favourite thinkg about Crawford School? 

I think the best thinkg about Crawford is the professors. They are super nice,  super friendly, they have great connections and they're always happy to help you out. Point you to the right direction, and give you advice on which policy centers to go try and work for, which areas of government to apply for, and different career goals. 

What is your favourite course? 

Crawford 8000 is my favourite course. I think it's called 'Government's global change and markets'. It's run by Stephen Howes, and he's an amazing professor, has an amazing resume and I think I've learned a lot from him so far. 

Do you like living in Canberra? 

I lived in Moscow before I came to Canberra, so it was quite a shock to me to come to quite a tiny city in Moscow, everything is going on 24/7. Canberra's a but quieter, but I do like living in the suburbs and having a quieter life. 

What is the International Development Economics Program? 

The program at Crawford is amazing. It starts with eight core units. The first semester is done with microeconomics, and the second semester is Macroeconomiics. Then in the second year, you build on these skills you've learned. These fundamental skills you've learned and you can apply to whatever area that you want . 

For example, there are 3 specific areas. There's International Trade and Finance, Asian Economies, and Development Policy. I think I'm going to go down the route of Development policy because I think they'll be very useful to go into something like DFAT, or to work in an embassy, or to work in something like the UN. I think that'd be really useful for me. But there are also other options you can take. You can take behavioural economics, for example. You can take Game Theory. You can have access to all the economic disciplines you want, and they have a specific public policy focus, which you know works really well.