“Thanks to the experience I have gained from studying and working in New Zealand, I have realised my great passion for food. I will start my career path in the food industry in my home country”

Konatsu Kumazaki

After finishing her high school education programme in Japan, Konatsu realised it was an ideal time for her step out into the world. That aspiration made her crave more integrated knowledge, skills and diverse experiences from studying abroad. She is now studying in a Bachelor programme at IPU New Zealand.

“I wanted to gain English fluency as well as start my adult life in another part of the world.”

“When I decided to study abroad, I was attracted by the brochures about IPU in my high school,” Konatsu says.

“The more I searched for study information, the more curious I was,” she says. Checking the IPU website and talking with senior students encouraged Konatsu to push her plan.

“This plan became firm when I heard many good stories from senior students who had studied in New Zealand.” she says. Although Konatsu’s parents were initally worried about such a big move at a young age, Konatsu’s passion for studying abroad coupled with New Zealand’s safe environment and Manawatu’s cultural diversity persuaded her that this was a great choice for Konatsu’s future and development.

What Konatsu loves about the New Zealand education system is that she gets so much choice about what she studies.

“At IPU, I don’t need to decide a particular major, and I can choose to study any paper that I am interested in,” she says excitedly.

“The course design is different from that of universities in Japan. At IPU, we have fewer papers to study, but the content of each paper is richer with in-depth practical and theoretical learning,” she says.

Konatsu is immersing herself in the exciting campus life at IPU New Zealand.

“I have lived in one of the IPU halls of residence since I came here. I have met many good friends; some of them are also Japanese. We help each other and share a lot of fun memories together.”

The inclusive, multicultural environment in Manawatu, New Zealand has helped Konatsu adapt to her new life without any significant challenge. As well as study, Konatsu works part time at a restaurant in the centre of Palmerston North city, further connecting her to the local communities and immersing herself in Kiwi life.

“Since I moved to New Zealand, I have learned a lot about myself. I have learned English by living it; my English skills have been vastly improved. I am now much more confident than I used to be. Day by day, I enjoy dealing with people coming from many different cultures and backgrounds while studying and working,” she says.

Growing is a personal journey which develops over time slowly, and is often unrecognizable. At the moment, Konatsu is surprised by how much she has changed since she first came to New Zealand. After finishing her study, Konatsu plans to go back and work in Japan.

“Thanks to the experience I have gained from studying and working in New Zealand, I have realised my great passion for food. I will start my career path in the food industry in my home country”, Konatsu shares.

Girl standing under cherry blossom Manawatu

IPU student Konatsu Kumazaki