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Maori and Pasifika Student University of Otago On Campus Experience

The Otago On-Campus Experience was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I was very honoured to be on. The purpose of the scholarship was to uplift and encourage Pasifika students to have a look at going to University. This is because many Universities have found that there is a low percentage of Pasifika students going to University. Therefore this scholarship was implemented and granted to 60 students to give them a proper insight into University life and to represent their school and culture.

We arrived on Sunday, 23 May in Dunedin and got on the bus and made our way to the Otago University Business school. Here, we got to see the everyday study centre and lectures for Business students wishing to study a BComm. We participated in icebreaker activities to get to know the other students from all over New Zealand. It was great to be around other successful Pasifika students, we met a variety of students with different personalities, backgrounds, and ideas for what to study in the future.

On our first day, we had a tour of the Campus and we had the chance to go to the introductory lectures for the different degrees. These lectures gave us a key insight into what you will be studying, the number of papers required to pass the semester and accommodation for colleges (dorms). For our second day, we were split up into different divisions and we individually planned specific lectures we wanted to attend. Our second day was also a tertiary day at Otago University so you were able to go to the Central Library and talk to the professors one on one, you have a variety of things to study!

It was said multiple times that we should try everything in our first year of university because it is free. This helps you identify what you want to study earlier on before setting your mind on what Bachelors you would like to study. Furthermore, our trip was also filled with laughs and excitement as we were told to make a prepared presentation of ourselves and our background, this gave us the chance to indulge deeper with other students and build lifelong friendships.

Finally, I have come to the conclusion that I want to study a double degree with Bachelors in Commerce and Law, with a major in International Business and a minor in Entrepreneurship. I am super grateful to be given this opportunity and to be one of the first Pasifika students from Rutherford College to be granted this scholarship.

I encourage all Pasifika students to have a look at going to University and to keep an eye out for scholarships, no matter how big or small. We all deserve a chance and we all deserve a proper education.

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