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Students at a hall

Zeid AbussuudZeid Abussuud
From: Qatif, Saudi Arabia
Studied: University of Otago Foundation Year, Health Science Stream
Studying: University of Otago Health Sciences First Year

Zeid's cousin used to study at Otago and although Zeid wanted to go somewhere 'exotic' he decided to check out the Otago website just to see what it was like. He liked what he saw, so he decided to come to Otago.

“I loved Dunedin when I first arrived. It has a classical atmosphere and buildings I really appreciate nature and it is such a scenic drive from the airport. I loved it from the start. I had done a lot of travelling before, but living in a country is different when you have to get used to public transport and become independent.

I lived in a homestay for two months and then I went flatting. Homestay was a good experience as I got to know 'Kiwi' culture and the city. It did not make me miss home much as I was in a family environment, so it was very nice. I am still in contact with my homestay family and I appreciate that.

Foundation Year prepared me for Health Sciences at university. It helped me avoid any issues with learning scientific terminology. The staff really care about each individual and make sure you get the right information. I learned how to deal with chemicals safely and how to use lab equipment, so it was a very good experience. I am very happy that I went through Foundation Year.

We had many activities and my teachers and classmates made a recipe book to sell so that the money raised could be sent to the earthquake victims in the Sichuan Province in China. I took the photos and designed the cover. The feedback was good and I felt like part of a community. Being prepared emotionally is important when you come by yourself, however the staff are very cooperative and I didn't really feel away from home. People in Dunedin want to help you even if they don't know you well.”

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