Hassan Asghar Dhudra

- Spain

Key Info

  • Software Engineering

Why did you choose to study in New Zealand?

I chose New Zealand because I have a passion for travel and it’s always been one of the top countries on my wish list to visit. It was also the furthest place from home, which meant I was able to stay in a number of different countries on my way to New Zealand, making the trip here really special.

New Zealand has beautiful natural scenery and a vast range of adventure and outdoor activities from glaciers, to one of the largest coastlines in the world. New Zealand also has a diverse community. Coming from a migrant background myself, I was impressed to see how well the communities were integrated here.

Why did you choose to study at the University of Waikato?

I picked the University of Waikato because it was one of the only universities in New Zealand that let me enrol in papers from both majors I’m studying back at home in Spain. Being a double-degree student this was a very big deciding factor on whether I entered an exchange programme or not. The university has a very good reputation and it has all the facilities that you might need on campus, from a pharmacy to a mosque. New Zealand also has a low cost of living too, which was a positive factor in making my choice.

What do you enjoy most about studying at the University of Waikato?

I have really enjoyed the teaching style and the practical-based approach to learning. Tutorials are run in small groups, which really gives you the opportunity to work efficiently on the subjects you are studying. The tutors are helpful too. There are always lots of events happening around the university campus, which makes studying here a positive experience. I have also been able to make a lot of new friends through different social clubs connected to the university.

What places have you visited while here and which one is your favourite and why?

I’m looking forward to the trimester break so I can venture further afield but so far, I have visited Hamilton Gardens, which are a unique space. Outside Hamilton I loved my trip to the Coromandel Forest Park and the Kaueranga Valley. We took a long hike to the Pinnacles Hut and stayed overnight. It was a fabulous experience. We trekked right to the top and enjoyed the breath-taking scenery of Coromandel peninsula at sunrise. The hike to the top is challenging, but worth it.

Do you have any advice for a student considering studying abroad in New Zealand?

My advice would be to not overthink it. New Zealand is one of the safest countries on earth and it would be hard to find another place in the world where there is such balance between having a social life and completing your studies.  There is a great quality life here and a high standard of education. I’d encourage you to come and see one of the best-preserved most natural spots on earth.

What is one thing have you found most different here than from home?

I’ve noticed that most of the people in New Zealand are environmentally aware and care lot about the environment. One of the big things I have noticed is the workload of university life here. The workload seems less than my home university but at the same time I am learning in a much more efficient manner.

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