Aida completed a Diploma in Integrated Logistics Management at KPM Bandar Penawar before coming to UC where she is studying towards a Bachelor of Commerce in Operations and Supply Chain Management, and Strategy and Entrepreneurship. She says her favourite thing about being a UC student is having more free time.

Back home in Malaysia most of the day was filled with lessons. Here the schedule is not as tight. I have lot more opportunity to join clubs and socialise. I really enjoy meeting other students and making new friends.

One of Aida’s activities is being Vice President of the Canterbury Malaysian Students’ Association.

Our slogan is “bringing home closer.” We’re here to help Malaysian students feel like they belong. We have events which are full of Malaysian culture and food. It really feels like home! Lots of Kiwis and other international students come along too. They especially love the food we make!

Aida is busy producing Malam Malaysia 2019, a showcase of Malaysian culture and New Zealand diversity.

Malam means ‘night’ in Malaysian. It’s a play and production with dancing, singing and acting. Being the producer is a bit scary because I have lots of different departments under my wings – dance, acting, script writing. But it’s great for networking and an exciting new leadership experience for me.

The diversity on campus has been a welcome surprise for Aida.

In our lectures we do a lot of group assignments. I’m in a group with students from the Philippines and China. It’s great because we exchange opinions and learn about each other's cultures. At first I thought people might avoid me because of my hijab. But everybody is really nice and just treats me like anyone else. They ask about Eid, about fasting. Everybody is friendly and interested. They want to learn.

Aida values the global perspectives she is gaining in her studies.

I especially love the way our lectures focus on things that are happening outside the university. We have talks by guest speakers and we learn about local and international politics and business. Our classes expose us to lots of different perspectives which is really interesting and valuable.

When she graduates, Aida plans to get a job in Malaysia. She says the experience she’s getting at UC is key to entering the workforce.

In my industry, employers are more interested in the experience you’ve gained than the marks you’ve achieved. Here at UC you can do internships and get real world experience while you’re a student. There are lots of extracurricular things you can do to contribute to your CV.

Aida’s advice for students coming to UC is to get involved.

The best thing you can do at UC is to use your free time to get engaged with other students, especially students from other cultures. My mother is always asking me, “what friends did you make today”? UC is a really fun and social place to be, so make the most of it!