by Shweta Shetty from O Mag 2013

Shweta Shetty is an Indian International Student embarking on her journey towards a postgraduate diploma in International Communication at Unitec.

Being an International Student is a feeling that keeps you in a very funny but interesting state. When I came to New Zealand 5 months back, I was filled with all different kinds of feelings. My acceptance, as well as my resistance level, was at its peak, my nervousness had crossed all limits and I had no clue where my confidence was standing. This is how I felt entering Unitec for my semester.

      The first thing that surprised me at Unitec was my course schedule. As I was a Post Graduate student, I had classes for just two days in a week and surprisingly, no examinations. In addition to that, on the first day, I was given a book of readings, which I thought was the only reading material for the semester. Believe me; I danced with joy when I saw my schedule and the material. I was so sure that the semester would be easy for me but how wrong was I! It was only after O attended my first class I understood how much preparation I needed to do before one lecture. And the book of readings was just an example of what needed to be read. So practically, the reading never ends and neither does the learning you get from it.

      While my first week passed in realisation, the following weeks passed in pure admiration. Initially, I was very much engrossed in myself, struggling to understand the Kiwi accent and coping with the new pattern of study. However, I eventually realised the surroundings I was studying in.

      One of the subjects I had opted for was Intercultural Communication. I realised I was actually sitting in a class of 12 students who were from China, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, South Africa, New Zealand, and India, and learning from a Russian teacher. I said to myself that I wouldn’t have found an environment with more knowledge than this to study this course.

If I have to sum up my experience of my first semester here at Unitec, I would say that it has given me the confidence to stand and present myself in my chosen field.

      My admiration kept on growing as the semester continued and as we, the class, went through different projects and assignments. It happened because all the projects and assignments were designed in a way which would make our class a team and which could give us an experience similar to the professional world. The Communication department organised for guest speakers in our lectures, who were professionals in their respective fields. After attending these lectures, I started believing the advertisements of Unitec in which they say “It doesn’t matter where you study, but from whom you study matters.”

      It was not just the education, which impressed me, but being a communication student, the way Unitec communicates with the staff, the students and the potential students also impressed me during this semester. And I was fortunate enough to understand all the hard work going behind this communication process during a lecture given by the Corporate Communication Head of Unitec.

      If I have to sum up my experience of my first semester here at Unitec, I would say that it has given me the confidence to stand and present myself in my chosen field. After being associated with it for five months, I now believe in its tagline: “We make the people who make it.”