May 28, 2018

International Student Experience

Moving to another country to study can be difficult. Read about their life lessons and tips that they shared at the International Student Experience.

International Student Experience

Last week, Niesh held our first International Student event at Vesbar in AUT. It was a chance for International Students to get to know each other and hear stories surrounding employability in New Zealand.

Topics included how to overcome barriers and how to find next step opportunities.

For those of you who couldn't attend. Below I have compiled a list of the top three points from each speaker during the open mic portion of the event.

Big thanks to AUTSA and IDP New Zealand for supporting us in the journey of providing valuable events to students that are studying abroad.

Farhanah Francis


Home: Malaysia/University of Auckland: Bachelor of Commerce

1. Be proud of your identity.

Students often feel self conscious coming into a new country and may feel the need to "fit in" with the culture. Don't be scared to express who you are and represent your country with pride. Show who you are, as it makes you uniquely different.

2. Don't be afraid to try something new and fail at it.

There will be many times where you apply for a job and might not get it, but if you fail, try again and again. Learn from your failures and use it as opportunities for growth.

3. Do what makes you happy.

My parents sent me over to New Zealand in hopes that I would become an accountant. I don't think I will be an accountant because I don't enjoy it that much. But I found my passion in entrepreneurship, that is why I started my own fashion house 'Sisterly Couture'.

Mohammad Ladha


Home: India/AUT: Bachelor of Computer and Information Sciences

1. You’re never alone and you’ll always have someone who you can rely on. All you need to do is look.

Coming to a new country can be scary as you suddenly lose your family and friends who used to support you when you come across tough times. When you arrive in New Zealand, try find friends who will be your support network. At University you can reach out to your International Student reps who are always available to chat around campus.

2. Whenever you’re down, always ask yourself “What next?”

Always look forward and think of resolutions rather than dwelling on issues that you might be facing.

3. Don’t let bad experiences alter who you are, take your time to heal and look forward to where your future will/can take you.

Have faith that bad experiences will allow you a chance to grow and give yourself time to heal. Your future is bright and right ahead of you.

Jae Yoo


Home: Korea/Niesh (Director)

1. Studying overseas is not easy, it is extremely difficult.

New Zealand seems like a chill place to study, but studying here is not any different from other countries. Particularly as an international student it will be hard for you, especially when there is a language barrier. Study hard and don't give up.

2. Graduating University doesn't make you different from other students, building your people skills outside of school will make you different and give you a competitive advantage.

As a employer, I never look at a applicants GPA but I look at their work experiences. Working experience or even extra curriculars will help develop people skills which are critical in the working world which you can rarely develop in a lecture theatre.

3. New Zealand culture is bound to be different from your own country, try to learn their culture, this will be useful for beginning your career.

In the New Zealand working environment, being able to connect with others is very important. Learning the Kiwi way of conversing and interacting will bring you far in business. However, this does not mean you need to lose sight of who you are and where you're from.

Jung Hyun Baek


Home: Korea/Genesis (Software Engineer)

1. Get an internship before you graduate. Not only can you get used to the New Zealand working environment, but your employers will love it when you look for a new job.

A lot of international students are curious about "what it's really like in the working world". Go out and try find an internship before you graduate so you can get a taste of the working environment, and find out what skills you may need to acquire before you graduate. Employers will always choose a student with working experience over those without.

2. Develop your own skills on top of your study in school.

If you are a looking to get a job in Software Engineering, try to do your own projects outside of University. It will help develop your skills and you can show this to employers even if you don't have working experience. I did 2-3 projects whilst I was in University.

3. Be connected with good friends. You may get inspiration and motivation from them.

Birds of a feather flock together, surround yourself around positive and good people who will push you to go further in life.

Did you enjoy this event summary? Let us know whether we should do more of these in the future. For International Students, we will be holding a Employability Workshop to help prepare you for the working world. Look out for it as it is coming your way soon!