A keen interest in languages brought Margo Lecompte and her husband to Australia from the heart of Europe. Almost 10 years later, Margo is one of the first group of students to embark on Macquarie’s exciting new Master of Research (MRes) program.
Along with their four children, Margo and her husband have embraced life in the southern hemisphere, having lived and studied in Melbourne, Darwin and New Caledonia before setting in Sydney.
Margo’s first taste of Macquarie was as an undergraduate student, having transferred from a teaching degree at Charles Darwin University .
“After speaking to Bert Peeters, a fellow Belgian who is a professor at Macquarie, I decided to transfer to Macquarie to major in French and Modern History.”
As a permanent resident of Australia, Margo was able to complete her undergraduate degree by distance, with the financial assistance of a Mature Age scholarship.
“I was impressed with Macquarie’s online learning, especially the Blackboard system with its discussion forums,” she says. “It was better than what I had encountered at CSU.”
With her children now settled into the Australian school system, Margo is looking forward to stepping away from the computer and becoming an on-campus student.
“Being part of the first group of MRes students is exciting,” she says. “In our orientation session, there was a real sense of being part of something new and modern.”
Replacing one year honours degrees, the two-year Master of Research is the first degree of it’s kind in Australia and combines advanced coursework with intensive research training, helping graduates prepare for doctoral study and allowing them to complete a PhD more quickly.
Margo will combine advanced units in her field of International Studies with research training units undertaken by all MRes students.
“The Research Communications unit will be particularly challenging,” Margo says. “It will teach us how to write and present to an audience about our research, which is important for international students like me whose first language is not English.”
Margo says the Macquarie campus will be a great place to spend her time over the next two years.
“The campus is much more modern than the universities I studied in back in Europe and has much better facilities, like the library,” she says.
“I compare it to my time at a university in Belgium, where the pipes broke one winter and one of the old buildings flooded. We had to wade through the freezing water!”
The other big difference Margo has observed is the attitude of the lecturers at Macquarie.
“Back in Europe, the professors come in for the lecture and then they leave,” she recalls. “You don’t speak to them at all really – it’s like they’re up on a Olympic pedestal.”
“Here, the lecturers are always available to help you. During my distance program, I was able to email the teacher directly and would always get an answer back quickly.”
Margo hopes to pursue a research career and says she is buoyed by the excellent employment opportunities in Australia, which she says is the biggest incentive for European students looking to study overseas.
Read more about the Master of Research.