Immersed in Indonesia

Murray Buchanan is encouraging other students to experience UQ's exchange opportunities.

Murray Buchanan with UQ Chief Representative, Jakarta Office, Ms Ratu Sovi Arinta.

Murray Buchanan with UQ Chief Representative, Jakarta Office, Ms Ratu Sovi Arinta.

When Murray Buchanan was accepted to participate in a legal study tour of Indonesia, he hadn’t considered longer-term opportunities in the country.

The UQ Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Laws student joined more than a dozen of his peers on a two-week trip to investigate Indonesia’s anti-corruption framework last year, supported by a New Colombo Plan Mobility Program grant.

Now, having received a prestigious New Colombo Plan Scholarship, he’s taking part in the international program at the University of Indonesia, where he studies a diverse range of topics from Islamic law to international maritime law – all in English.

Alongside his studies, Murray is completing an internship at the Indonesian Judicial Commission and taking language lessons, and will even participate in an upcoming diplomacy tour to Banda Aceh with the Australian Embassy. 

He hadn’t been aware of the extent of opportunities available through overseas study until last year’s tour.

“It’s what caused me to set my sights on the New Colombo Plan Scholarship program, and Indonesia as an exchange destination,” he said. 

“Being able to study these subjects in-country gives me unique insights into the workings of the Indonesian legal system and allows me to engage with Indonesian perspectives on a range of political and legal matters.”

Murray Buchanan

A mosque in Banda Aceh

A mosque in Banda Aceh

Murray’s exchange marks the third consecutive year in which UQ students have received New Colombo Plan Scholarships to study and intern in Indonesia. 

His internship builds on UQ’s relationship with the Judicial Commission and continues the research commenced by former intern and UQ New Colombo Plan Scholarship recipient  Alexander Williams

During his exchange Murray has worked closely with the UQ Indonesia Office, established in 2014.

The office works with a range of local partners, such as the Corruption Eradication Commission and CardnoEmerging Markets, to strengthen UQ’s ties with Indonesia. 

“UQ students are exceptionally well-placed to take full advantage of the exchange experience, thanks to the University’s  strong links with Indonesia,” he said. 

“The office has been extraordinarily helpful throughout the course of my exchange in everything from visa applications to securing internships - it has added so much to my experience.” 

Murray is encouraging other students to make the most of the  global experiences offered by UQ, particularly those in Indonesia. 

“You never know what doors could open if you step out of your comfort zone and head overseas as part of your UQ degree,” he said.

“I would emphatically recommend that every student take up the opportunity to participate in an exchange, and would especially suggest Indonesia as a study destination.

“The Indo-Pacific region is one of the fastest growing in the world, and the Indonesia-Australia relationship is one of the most important to Australia’s future.” 

The New Colombo Plan is an Australian Government initiative administered by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The program aims to strengthen Australia’s people-to-people and institutional connections in the Indo-Pacific, by supporting Australian undergraduates to study and undertake internships or mentorships.

UQ undergraduate students are encouraged to submit expressions of interest for the New Colombo Plan Scholarship Program by 30 June.

For application assistance, please contact UQ Global Engagement by  email or by phoning (07) 3346 9924.