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Postgraduate Study in Australia

Surviving and Succeeding

Edited By Christopher McMaster, Caterina Murphy, Benjamin Whitburn and Inger Mewburn

Each contributor to this book was given the remit: "If you could go back in time to talk with yourself when you began your studies, what advice would you give?" Hindsight is such a bonus, especially, when vying for your doctorate or postgraduate degree. Postgraduate Study in Australia: Surviving and Succeeding addresses this with advice from postgraduate students and recent graduates that will assure that you are not alone in your endeavors.

This project follows similar editions that focus on Aotearoa/New Zealand, South Africa,
the United States, and the United Kingdom, and is currently being replicated in Scandinavia. This down-to-earth anthology shares personal stories from postgraduate students and recent graduates, employing a practical approach and focusing on the context of postgraduate studies in Australia. This first-person approach to research about postgraduate study helps curate the current understanding, with critical reflections adding to our collective knowledge. Both prospective and current postgraduate students will find this collection insightful.

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Chapter Twenty-four: Fieldwork in Far-flung Places (Nicole Dicker)


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Fieldwork IN Far-flung Places



Exchanging unknown currencies, booking bizarre flights, packing bags (only to lose them) and waiting in transit for hours. And hours. Learning Spanish, shopping for that ‘researcher’ outfit with a certain je ne sais quoi, and racking up the kind of sim card collection that can land you on a government watch list. I’ve loved the travel and the sense of purpose in venturing to a place where fieldwork is possible, and this chapter involves reflection on this unique kind of journey and its bounty. I’ve relished the cultural and contextual aspects: new music, new sounds, languages, people, foods, colours, literature, film, poetry, stories and ideas. Through my research abroad I’ve learnt lessons (often the hard way) that I’d love to share with you here.


Think Lonely Planet, Rough Guide or even the mock Molvania or Phaic Tăn guides, if you like. I’ve written this chapter to help spark thinking about whether fieldwork might appeal to you and, if so, some of the practicalities you’ll face. The emphasis is on overseas travel, though there may also be a few useful tidbits for the domestic traveler. ← 217 | 218 →


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