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Each year International Student Support hosts the International Student Graduation Function for graduating students as a way to celebrate their achievements. University communications advisor Koren Allpress spoke with Obreniokibo Amiesimaka and Emily Fruean about their time in Aotearoa and studying at Otago.

If graduate Emily Fruean could go back in time to 2019 she would tell her17-year-old self “not to worry too much, take those risks, and that it will work out in the end”.

Emily graduated on Rahoroi Saturday with a Bachelor of Physiotherapy.

She says she has always gravitated towards the “healthcare side of things” and saw physiotherapy as the best avenue to take to enable her to pursue her dream of helping people.

“It’s definitely a career that brings more quality of life and meaning to different folks affected by different injuries and conditions.”

She arrived in Ōtepoti Dunedin from Samoa five years ago and says her time in Aotearoa New Zealand has been better than she imagined it would be.

“It’s such a great place to explore and I’ve grown so much from endeavouring to put myself out of my comfort zone and make the most of the opportunities that New Zealand and Otago have provided.”

It was hard moving away to study abroad and at times she faced challenges, but looking back now she can say “it was all worth it in the end”.

Emily is very happy to have graduated, and is looking forward to celebrating with her mum, some of her brothers, cousins, and aunty.

“Final year was tough, so I’m super excited that I have made it this far.”

She has landed herself a job as a rotational physiotherapist at the Dunedin Hospital.

“I can’t wait to start!”

Emily and more than 30 other international students attended the University’s International Student Graduation function last Rāpare Thursday.

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