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Claire Auchinvole

Guy carrying books for girl

Claire Auchinvole.
Claire Auchinvole


One of the great things about Geography, according to second-year honours student Claire Auchinvole, is the scope it offers for a good argument.

"No two people have the same view about anything!" she comments. And that's part of what she loves about it.

Claire began at Otago by enrolling in a wide range of first-year papers, including English, Māori and Political Studies. But it was during her Human Geography classes that Claire knew this was the subject for her.

"In one class, we were discussing space and place concepts. In Europe, boundaries have changed over history - for example, Silesia, in West Poland, has also been part of Germany many times, creating a culturally confused minority.

"I find these debates so interesting. I really thought, 'Yes! This is what I want to be doing!'" Besides, she notes, "All the Geography teachers I've ever had have all been totally enthusiastic about the subject. That has to mean something!"

At the same time, Claire acknowledges the advantages of having studied such a broad range of topics. "I'm always making links across my papers, in really unexpected ways," she says.

Plus having spent 12 years growing up in the United Kingdom, studying New Zealand-related papers has made her feel more confident about applying her Geography knowledge to local settings.

Claire says she is also looking forward to studying issues relating to developing countries, and entertains notions of perhaps working in Africa one day.