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Student story

Komei Hemmi

20 July 2023

"I particularly enjoy meeting students from other countries and asking about their native languages..."


Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics and Philosophy

Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Linguistics

A long-time fascination with languages led Komei to consider a path in Linguistics, something he feels compliments his other major in Philosophy.

"I love learning about interesting constructions that different languages have. I also get to discover so much about my native language, Japanese, that I was not aware of as a native speaker. Linguistics makes me want to learn more about how the mind works and the relationship between language and thought. Doing a Bachelor of Arts allowed me to combine two of my interests, Linguistics and Philosophy, so I appreciate the flexibility of the degree structure."

"I am currently studying a branch of linguistics called syntax, which is about the sentence structure of language. My research is on the concept of grammaticality, whether a sentence is grammatical or ungrammatical."

Komei encourages students who are not certain of their study path to "take the introductory papers and see whether you like them", something he discovered had a significant impact on his decision in where he would focus his study.

"I originally did not intend to major in Linguistics, but taking the introductory paper when I first came to UC convinced me that it was the right subject for me."

One of Komei's favourite things about his experience in New Zealand is the relaxed environment and the diverse range of people that he has met during his time here.

"People are less stressed about life in general compared to Japan. I also feel like you can be more expressive as an individual. I had never been to New Zealand before I came to UC and I wanted to dive into the unknown and start afresh."

Komei's first impression of UC was a lasting one, and ultimately gave him confidence that it was the right place for him.

"I considered some other universities, but the staff at UC were by far the most helpful and were happy to answer my questions about the enrolment and the visa application processes. Now that I am here, I enjoy interacting with the friendly academic staff who are always extremely helpful and genuine."

"I appreciate that UC has a good balance of being quiet enough to allow me to concentrate on my studies when I have to, and offering a lot of opportunities to engage with other students and with the community when I want to expand my social groups. I particularly enjoy meeting students from other countries and asking them questions about their native languages."

Komei's excellent results during his time at UC have earned him several scholarship opportunities, including the Margaret Mahy Fees Scholarship, the College of Arts Honours Scholarship and the Sir George Grey Scholarship.

With a bright future ahead of him, Komei has big aspirations following on from his Honours year.

"I would like to work as a researcher or lecturer in the fields of Linguistics and Philosophy. My goal is to raise important theoretical questions about linguistics and challenge the existing theories."

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