Cameron Toogood is a medical student, currently taking a gap year to develop his Mandarin language skills and understanding of China.
He is studying at Tsinghua University in Beijing, made possible by the Prime Minister's Scholarship to Asia and the Confucius Institute's New Zealand-China scholarship. He previously studied 200-level Mandarin, and had his passion for Mandarin rekindled by the Chinese programme at Otago and Ms. Baohua Huang's lecturing.
Cameron graduated with a Bachelor in Science majoring in neuroscience, and is passionate about the importance of international collaboration for the development of science and technology in New Zealand.
Once he has developed his cultural and language understanding, he hopes to work towards creating exchange partnerships for young scientists at Chinese and New Zealand institutes and Universities. These partnerships would strengthen the international ties between our cultures, create self-development opportunities for young scientists, and bring the rapidly developing science of China and New Zealand together to possibly reach new breakthroughs.
There are over 170,000 Chinese people in New Zealand, and their cultures and languages have been interwoven with the history of our country for over 200 years. As a future doctor in New Zealand or overseas, Cameron hopes that the understanding of Chinese culture he is developing will improve the standard of care that he can provide to these communities.