“I enjoy the environment here; it’s close to nature and is so peaceful; yet I’m still able to connect with people. I love nature and socialising and everything is available here in Manawatu.”

Meet Saba Azeem

After completing her MBA (Master of Business Administration) and getting five years working experience in Pakistan, Saba realised she needed to achieve higher qualifications with better prospects in order to keep up with the competitiveness in her industry globally. That decision brought Saba to Palmerston North city where she enrolled in the Massey University PhD programme.

“At the beginning of my journey in New Zealand, I found it quite challenging to communicate and get to know new people,” she shared. “But the welcoming environment here helped me a lot. I have found many warm Kiwis in the International Student Support (ISS) office, and my supervisors were supportive.”

Besides studying in the PhD programme, Saba is also working as an ISS staff member, supporting NZ Aid students and is also the President of International Post Graduates & Mature Students Club at Massey.

“My standard day looks like 24 hours of continuous working and studying. When I was a child, my grandfather and my mother were my mentors. They inspired me to enjoy a busy lifestyle, to keep myself going. The key thing is determining the priorities, aiming for improvements, and being your own benchmark. This is where you figure out what is important in life.”

Saba also expressed her love of living in Manawatu. She believed the cosy environment and genuine warmth of Kiwis create a delightful living experience for her. “I enjoy the environment here; it’s closer to nature and so peaceful. But I am still able to connect with people as well. I love nature and socialising, plus everything is available in Palmerston North and Manawatu.”

Every weekend, Saba joins in a Pakistani “pot-luck” dinner, a small party where each person cooks one dish to contribute and share with the small group. She enjoys gathering and eating together with her Pakistani community as well as members from other communities. She believes New Zealand actually supports cross-cultural friendships, and that is what makes it a great place to be. Palmerston North city is home to more than 120 different cultures so the opportunities for global friendships and connections is another highlight of studying here.

Her PhD study has allowed Saba to seek opportunities to stay longer in New Zealand. “After finishing my education, I want to apply the knowledge and findings of my research to serve this country. I want to understand New Zealand, keep as Kiwi as my contacts and enjoy the many beautiful places here.”

She has a great aspiration to secure residence and work in Manawatu, New Zealand.

”Because I love this city, I love my life here. If you like peace, even when you enjoy a busy life, Manawatu is a perfect place to live.”

Saba PhD student at Massey Uni

Saba Azeem, Massey University PhD student

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