UCMe - Adarsh - Social Work, University of Canterbury, NZ
Adarsh Mathur


Adarsh Social Work

Tell us about your passion for the Pasifika community… where does that come from?

I’m Fijian Indian. I moved to Aotearoa New Zealand when I was seven. Working with the Pacific Development Team (PDT) at UC has helped me reconnect with my community again. I’ve been able to celebrate Fijian Independence Day for the first time since I moved. It’s been awesome!

What other Pasifika connections have you made at UC?

I’ve helped with a lot of Pasifika events, been a mentor for Pasifika students and joined the Fijian Students’ Association. Also, for my degree placements I’ve had the opportunity to work with social agencies that have a Pasifika focus.

What have those connections meant for you?

They’ve made me feel like I belong. The PDT really go out of their way to make sure all Pasifika students have someone to reach out to. There’s the fale where you can go and study, and lots of other resources. I’ve felt supported throughout my entire degree at UC.

Jumping from UC to Thailand - tell us about your internship!

About 14 of us went over to do different internships depending on our degree. I was working at a children’s orphanage, mainly helping to teach English.

What was the most eye-opening thing for you about that internship?

It was very humbling. The children came from some pretty challenging backgrounds, but they were just so happy to be there. The volunteers were inspiring too. The orphanage was an NGO so the staff were there because they genuinely care.

"UC has a very friendly culture. Everyone’s very welcoming and we all advocate for each other."

Did you get to do some sightseeing as well?

We did. We had a homestay in a village – it reminded me of Fiji! We visited an elephant sanctuary and gave the elephants their mud baths. We also went to Vietnam for a weekend. I’d love to go back there one day!

Back on campus, what have you enjoyed about the student experience?

UC has a very friendly culture. Everyone’s very welcoming and we all advocate for each other. I’ve become friends with so many different people. There are no cliques or hierarchies here, everyone just relates to each other as people.

What would you say is UC’s greatest strength?

UC respects and promotes individuality. Being here makes you want to be more yourself, if that makes sense. You can be whoever you want and you won’t feel out of place at UC.