Otago Polytechnic

Abida Manzoor faced a big cultural change when she moved to New Zealand to study, but with the help of OPAIC’s team of staff she’s excelling here.

Abida says students sometimes struggle when they first arrive because they come from different cultures with different methods of education.

She had difficulty with her first assessment, then took feedback from her lecturers around what they expected from her.

“That was the major turning point for me. As soon as I understood the lecturers’ expectations, I think it’s gone good for me ever since.”

One major difference in the style of study here is that programmes are very practical.

“You basically have to learn to think practically. And that’s the good part about this course, because when you go out in the industry, you know what you have to do.”

It's very important for students to understand how requirements in New Zealand might differ from those back home, says Abida.

“You have to take initiative and try to understand the expectations of your lecturers and what the course is about.”

“If you give it 100 percent and you know what is expected of you, you will always succeed.”

Abida says her lecturers are always ready to give feedback when she asks. She’s also benefited from the Learning Support Team on Level 8, which provides group workshops and one-on-one peer tutoring. 

Additionally, the Student Success Team makes students feel very comfortable when they first arrive in New Zealand – organising trips and events to help them get acquainted with the place. She enjoys the social activities they organise and says it’s important for students to get out and make friends rather than focusing only on study.

Abida works hard to balance her study with a part-time job and hobbies. She has a fashion blog and she’s written an e-book.

She already holds an MBA and undertook the Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Management because she liked the up-to-date subjects on offer such as digital marketing and information systems.

Next, she has her sights set on Harvard, having lived and worked in the United States in the past.

“I’ve always followed my dreams, always followed my goals. I think hard work is the key to everything. If you believe in your dreams and you work hard you can always reach where you want to reach. So, I would want to be a Harvard PhD one day.”

Abida loves New Zealand and would like to return here to start her own business.

“I come from a very small place. It’s not even on Google maps, so it’s a very small place but I’ve always believed in my dreams and I believe that I can do something on my own.”


Published on 22 Oct 2019

Orderdate: 22 Oct 2019
Expiry: 30 Oct 2020