Paolo Miguel Duran

Paolo Miguel Duran

Postgraduate Diploma in Emergency Management student

It’s important to understand what causes natural and humanitarian disasters, says Paolo Miguel Duran who came to AUT as an international student from the Philippines to study a Postgraduate Diploma in Emergency Management.

“We need more people who understand how natural and humanitarian disasters come about, and what we can do as a global community to prevent, respond and recover from them.

“Once I finish my Postgraduate Diploma in Emergency Management, I hope to join an international aid organisation such as UNHCR, UNISDR or ADB. I would like a role where I can contribute to sustainable development, disaster management and resiliency building, particularly for marginalised communities.”

A seamless transition
He would highly recommend the programme to others who are interested in emergency and disaster management, Paolo says.

“The programme is exceptional – from the expert lecturers, to the highly-relevant curriculum and the comprehensive academic resources available. I appreciate that the programme considers innovative and progressive solutions without losing sight of the social aspect.

“The opportunity to hear from people with different social and cultural backgrounds, and gain a multi-perspective insight on humanitarian issues is invaluable.”

Returning to study had some challenges, admits Paolo whose studies are supported by a New Zealand Aid ASEAN Scholarship.

“My biggest challenge was going back to being a full-time student after working as an engineer for several years. Fortunately, AUT provided me with all the resources for a seamless transition, from access to a comprehensive library to the availability of digital tools, as well as academic support from the programme leader, lecturers and the AUT scholarships team.”

Advice for other students
Make the most of your time as an AUT student, Paolo says.

“Do your best with your studies but also try to make the most of the cultural diversity and amazing landscape of New Zealand. A lot of the things I learned while studying have been from meeting different interesting people and going to places off the beaten path.”

He highly recommends attending the many events on offer.

“I really enjoyed attending AUT events like the International Noho Marae and the Global Leadership Experience. If you’re an international student, I would definitely recommend the International Noho Marae. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about Māori culture, as well as make friends from all over the world, all in one weekend of fun activities, songs and amazing food.”