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Taking Urban Planning Passion Across Borders

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Meet Sidonie, an enthusiastic and motivated student pursuing a Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning. Her interest in the field was sparked in high school when she encountered the complex and broad nature of urban planning and found the challenge intriguing. She appreciates the diverse knowledge base required in this field, as it necessitates understanding a little bit about everything. This multidisciplinary approach resonates with her and fuels her drive to excel in her studies.

Sidonie has multiple highlights that have made her journey at Curtin memorable. She appreciates the teaching style, which emphasises practical applications and real-world scenarios. Additionally, the connections she has established with industry professionals have enriched her learning, providing valuable insights into urban planning. Sidonie also cherishes the beauty of the campus, which has undoubtedly contributed to her overall university experience.

Motivated by her desire to travel and experience studying abroad, Sidonie initially planned to do an exchange during her second year. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted those plans. Nevertheless, she recognises the importance of gaining a different perspective in her studies and future career. She believes studying abroad offers a perceptual advantage and broadens one’s horizons. Which prompted her eager application for Exchange as soon as COVID finished.

“I think to get a different perspective in whatever you study is very perceptual and will help you so much in your future career!”

While studying in Israel, Sidonie was captivated by its people and culture. What intrigued her even further was her connection to the country through her partner, who is Israeli. During her visit five years ago, she fell in love with the Israeli people’s active, inclusive, and friendly nature. Additionally, she appreciated the unique challenges and opportunities that come with the region’s complexity.

Comparing her experience studying in Perth to her time in Israel, Sidonie loved the fascinating interactions with fellow exchange students, who brought diverse ideas, perspectives and stories. Communicating with non-native speakers was a fun challenge, and she has become more aware of her Aussie accent. Studying overseas has allowed her to leave the responsibilities of living in her hometown and enjoy a greater sense of freedom and enjoyment.

While studying overseas can be a life-changing experience, Sidonie says it comes with its own set of challenges. The language was a significant hurdle for her, especially since Hebrew uses a different alphabet. Even so, she saw this as a positive challenge where she embraced the opportunity to learn a new language. She also missed her family but was able to encourage them to visit her in Israel.

“It’s been both a challenge and a highlight learning Hebrew.”

Before her time overseas, Sidonie prepared for her trip as much as she could by exploring social media to gain insights into the country and culture, using a language-learning app to familiarise herself with basic phrases, and sought advice from the GoGlobal team at Curtin and previous students who had studied in Israel.

Looking back on her journey, Sidonie would advise her first-year self to persevere and recognise the value of long-term commitment to her studies. She says that studying for an

extended period is difficult, but developing resilience and sticking with a chosen course or career direction is super important. She also believes in putting effort into one’s studies from the beginning, as the foundation laid in the first year can have a lasting impact.

“Hang in there! Doing study for so long isn’t a walk in the park but it’s such an integral skill to stick it out. Also, from the get-go your effort matters. Don’t slack in that first year even if it’s easier than the rest.”

After graduation, Sidonie hopes to travel the world and pursue a global career. With her connection to Israel, she envisions working overseas and potentially establishing herself in the country she has grown to love. Her passion for urban and regional planning, coupled with her international experiences, positions her well to make a positive impact in the field on a global scale.

If you’re interested in going abroad during your degree, discover all the opportunities available through Go Global.

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