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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 enjoyed the environmental planning and management aspects of her degree, which she recently completed.

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

Gita describes the Lincoln lecturers and staff as very helpful.

“They always tried their best to support me and fulfil my needs,” she says. “They gave me a lot of attention as well as tolerance because I was an international student and they understood that I had language, culture, and education system differences.”

Academically, working on a group project was her most memorable experience.

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

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

“Lincoln really helped me to grow and develop, both academically and socially,” she says. “It gave 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.”