UQ field trips a great practical way for undergraduate students to learn
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UQ field trips a great practical way for undergraduate students to learn

Thirty University of Queensland students gained first-hand experience of development issues in Indonesia through an eight-day field trip offered for the first time in July.

Exploring development complexities (PLAN3200) is a new international field trip course for undergraduate students in the University’s Faculty of Science.

Ranked among one of the world’s top 100 universities, The University of Queensland (UQ) has many cultural, study and field experiences for undergraduate international students, Study Abroad, and Incoming Exchange students.

They include field trips to unique locations such as Queensland’s incredible Outback and Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island and a World Heritage-listed area.

Other locations include UQ’s marine research stations in Moreton Bay, off the coast of Brisbane, and Heron Island on the Great Barrier Reef.

Course coordinators for the new Indonesian field trip are Dr Sonia Roitman and Dr Karen McNamara of the School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management.

They said the new annual course had attracted extremely high interest among students in planning, environmental management and geography.

“The course provides an opportunity for students to understand the complexities of ‘development’,” Dr McNamara said.

“They’ll experience the challenges faced by communities in sustaining their livelihoods and improving their living conditions.

“This year students analysed issues related to disaster reduction and livelihoods in rural areas, and slums and poverty in urban areas.”

Dr Roitman and Dr McNamara travelled with the students to Yogyakarta (Indonesia).


A view over Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

This year, 27 of the students are undergraduates who have received the Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan grant.

Dr McNamara and Dr Roitman said the course grew from a need to offer students an opportunity to work alongside, and learn from stakeholders working on development issues in Indonesia through “learning by doing”.

“The main reasons for choosing Indonesia as the field trip location are that it is a key development and trade partner for Australia, and a key priority country for UQ,” Dr Roitman said.

The course is offered to 2nd, 3rd and 4th year UQ undergraduate students through the School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management.

The host institution is the Department of Planning at Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM). Twelve UGM Planning students worked with the 30 UQ students during their stay in Yogyakarta.

UQ’s Indonesian partners for the field trip included two local Non-Government Organisations ‑ Arkom Yogya (housing issues) and Perkumpulam Lingkar (climate change and disaster risk issues).  The program also included local communities (Kalijawi organisation and Salam village residents), and provincial and local governments.

Jump online and discover the diverse range of undergraduate and postgraduate science programs available at UQ.

If you’re a prospective international student, and want to study at UQ, you should apply directly to the International Admissions Section of The University of Queensland.

Or you can download the International UQ Study Guide 2016 as an app to instantly access UQ information – plus additional photos and videos not available elsewhere. Tap the App Store/Google Play Store icon on your smartphone or tablet to access.

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