For Chinese-born Nathan Li, his choice between universities was made easier by the offer of a full scholarship from Macquarie in recognition of his previous academic achievements.
Having completed his HSC in Australia and achieving a high ATAR, Nathan chose Macquarie’s four-year Bachelor of Planning degree, with its unique focus on the social and environmental aspects of planning.
Nathan says the interdisciplinary program will give him a unique edge.
“Other unis focus on the technical and design side, but at Macquarie it’s more about strategic policy and the philosophy behind sustainable planning,” he says. “Half of the degree is environmental and resource management and it’s good to have a balance between this and the built environment.”
“It’s definitely good in that it opens up opportunities for me in management and policy roles in government and council, not just traditional planning roles.”
Nathan’s career prospects will be further boosted with accreditation by the Planning Institute of Australia and his voluntary work placement with the City of Ryde council, where he is learning how planning works in the real-world.
Nathan has also been given the opportunity to enhance his degree through Macquarie’s unique People, Planet and Participation undergraduate degree structure, which sees students broaden their mindset through units outside their core program.
“For my People unit, I did the Psychology of Human Relationships which was really interesting and will definitely enhance me as a planner dealing with people.”
A designer for the University’s student publication Grapeshot, Nathan says international students have plenty of opportunities to contribute and connect with their Macquarie peers.
“Macquarie has really strong support for international students and there are a lot of programs and student groups that encourage students to get involved with university life,” he says.
His advice to new international students is to make the most of their time in Australia by stepping out of their ‘cultural comfort zone’.
“While it’s important to value your background, it’s important to be open to new experiences and make friends with Australian students – they’re generally friendly and approachable.”
Read more about the Bachelor of Planning.