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Gita Suwandi is keen to use her Master of Planning degree to climb the career ladder and help her country at the same time.

“Urban and regional planning are my background, as I work for the Indonesian Government in the Disaster Management Authority,” she says.

“My degree will lead me to a higher level or position in my office. I will also get more opportunity to promote a better future through the disaster management planning skills I have learned from the courses in this major.”

She especially enjoys the environmental planning and management aspects of her degree.

“These are challenging courses, but I learned more from them at the same time. I think this has been the most valuable experience during my study time at Lincoln.”

Gita describes the Lincoln lecturers and staff as very helpful.

“They always try their best to support me and fulfil my needs,” she says. “They give me a lot of attention as well as tolerance because I am an international student and they understand I have language, culture, and education system differences.”

Academically, working on a group project has been her most memorable experience so far.

“I learned that to succeed, we have to build strong relationships within the group, and self-study and time management are critical.”

Gita has become a leader in the Indonesian Student Association at Lincoln and in the Canterbury region, as well as promoting the university to Indonesian students.

“Lincoln has really helped me to grow and develop, both academically and socially,” she says. “It has given me the opportunity to meet new families and friends from New Zealand and other countries.

“I am sure that it is never too late for someone to study. I was one of the lucky people to get the opportunity to develop myself at Lincoln.”