New Zealand, 2018
Current Place of Residence: Dunedin, New Zealand
University: University of Otago, Dunedin
Current/Recent Course: Bachelor of Arts (Hons) English Literature
Jean Balchin is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in English Literature at the University of Otago, New Zealand. Jean is an avid reader and writer, and hosts her own radio shows on Otago Access Radio and Radio1. She is passionate about science communication, and as an intern with the Science Media Centre, she wrote a series of articles called “A History of NZ Science in 25 Objects”. Jean is a passionate advocate for suicide prevention, and volunteers for Life Matters Suicide Prevention Trust. She contributed to the Break the Silence series on youth suicide run by the New Zealand Herald earlier this year. Jean is an accomplished pianist, exhibited artist, a public speaker and has a green belt in Judo. At Oxford she proposes to study a DPhil examining Social Darwinism in New Zealand’s colonialist literature. She is interested in how the idea of “survival of the fittest” was used to try to justify status inequalities between different ethnic groups. She proposes a future career in education or academia.