"But it’s amazing how much you grow by becoming independent."
She says adjusting to studying in New Zealand has been made easier by the University of Auckland’s excellent support for international students, and by her inspiring lecturers.
Joining university clubs has helped her to make friends. Stephanie belongs to a photography club and to First Year Experience, a group that helps new students quickly integrate into campus culture.
Stephanie also volunteers as a mentor to high school students who need extra study or social support. “It’s really rewarding. We help each other out – I learn a lot from the students I mentor,” she says.
In the weekends, Stephanie enjoys going to the beach or exploring the Auckland region.
“I love the fact that in New Zealand you can drive for 40 minutes and be somewhere completely different. There’s always lots to see,” she says.
Stephanie is considering post-graduate study after she finishes her Bachelor’s degree. Her long-term goal is to work as a psychologist in New Zealand.