Emma Puloka

'My degree will be a platform that will allow me to do what I’m passionate about...'

  • Emma puloka

Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences

Studying towards a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Environmental Science

Having won the College of Science Pacific Scholarship, Emma came to UC from Tonga to work towards her goal of becoming a secondary teacher. She is keen to play her part in Tonga’s development.

‘I really appreciate this scholarship which is part of UC’s initiative to help Tonga’s development, and I chose to take it as UC offers a high standard of education and has an excellent Biology department,’ she says.

‘I want to become a biology high school teacher in Tonga where I can inspire students in a positive way. I’d also like to be an independent consultant for biological issues relevant to Tonga and the Pacific. My degree will be a platform that will allow me to do what I’m passionate about.’

Emma found that the structure of the BSc at UC allowed her to explore her interests in many areas of science.

‘There is a lot of flexibility in the papers you can take, which is great for someone like me who is interested in learning a little something about everything.

‘In science, you have the opportunity to be part of discovering something totally new, and challenging answers that are already accepted. In studying science, curiosity and hard work can take you a long way, so don’t settle for just memorizing text book material, or giving the expected answers.’

With this enthusiastic and dedicated approach to her studies, it is no surprise that Emma won a Pacific Achievement Award for being one of the top Pacific Island students in Science at UC.

However, university is not solely about academic work, and Emma has enjoyed the full experience, in particular the people she has met and got to know.

‘I love how supportive the staff are here, especially in the Biology and Chemistry departments. I also really love the strong community we have within the Pacific Island student body, which is supported by the amazing Pacific Development Team. We have fun events each semester on campus where I’ve built lasting friendships with my fellow students from all over the Pacific.

‘I love being involved in different Christian groups like Student Life at UC, who really encourage my faith and with whom I have had a lot of adventures, including going to Mount Hutt, Dunedin and even Fiji!’

Emma’s advice to other students starting university is to make the most of this time and the opportunities it gives to try new things.

‘Don’t just float through university life – make your mark on campus. Get involved and push boundaries here. Be the first to do something – why not?’

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