“In New Zealand, you can have a very healthy life because you’re not under constant pressure. You have time for you.”
She says she’d always wanted to learn a new hobby, but never had the time in India. Now she’s about to start salsa lessons.
Vinutha came to New Zealand in March 2017 and is studying for a Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Accounting at Victoria University of Wellington. She aims to become a chartered accountant in future.
She has found the Kiwi style of learning very different to the way she studied back home.
“In India, it’s a matter of memory – if you memorise something, you pass. If you don’t understand what you’ve memorised, no-one cares,” she says.
“But in New Zealand we have group presentations, individual assignments and essays. You go at your own pace, but you’re expected to understand everything.
“It’s a good way to learn, and it will help me when I get a job because I’ll understand what I’m doing.”
Vinutha, who is from Chennai in southern India, chose to study in New Zealand after a close family friend who had been studying aviation here told her how welcoming Kiwis were.
She spent her first month in a homestay, instantly forming a close bond with her homestay family.
“My homestay family was amazing. It was one of the most beautiful months of my life, and I cried when I left,” says Vinutha.
“They’ve told me that if I ever feel homesick, I can go and see them.”
When she’s not studying, Vinutha goes to the gym, takes zumba classes or volunteers at Victoria’s fruit and vegetable co-operative. Working at the co-op has helped her meet people and make new friends, she says.
“Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community, and makes me feel that I belong.”