Exchanges offer new perspectives in planning
New international exchanges in the Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MPL) program offer students the unique opportunity to gain new perspectives in design and planning and delve into South Pacific culture in both Australia and New Zealand.
“It really was a great opportunity to see how other countries handle planning,” says Kevin House, the first MPL student to participate in an exchange with the University of Western Australia (UWA) in Perth. “There are many similarities between Commonwealth countries – but it’s also interesting to see how they do things differently.”
Sarah Bingham was also a master’s student in the Queen’s School of Urban and Regional Planning (SURP) when she travelled this past winter to UWA, where she took classes at the Australian Urban Design Research Centre.
“The courses I took at UWA allowed me to immerse myself in design and build on the skills I acquired at SURP,” says Ms Bingham, who kept a blog of her Australian adventures. Ms Bingham and Mr. House have since graduated from the MPL program.
UWA and the University of Otago in New Zealand are both members of the Matariki Network of Universities (MNU), which Queen’s co-founded. The MNU is a partnership between seven leading international universities established to enhance diversity, to share ideas and expertise, and to learn international best practice from each other.
Last year, Claire Lindsay from the University of Otago joined SURP as an exchange student in the fall term. She took courses, participated in field trips and worked on a community project course in Kingston. Claire Boland and Dylan Stokes of UWA’s planning program were also on exchange at Queen’s, which gave SURP students Australian and New Zealand planning perspectives in their classes.
This year, three Queen’s SURP students will head to UWA and one will travel to Otago on exchange. Two students from Otago and one from UWA will come to Queen’s to study at SURP.