Rylee Sturm

Rylee Sturm

3rd-year student, Bachelor of Health Science (Physiotherapy)

Ngāti Kahungunu Ki te Wairoa

She knew she wanted a career in health, says Rylee Sturm who came to AUT to study a Bachelor of Health Science (Physiotherapy) and plans to become a musculoskeletal physiotherapist when she graduates.

“From the age of 12 I’ve known that I wanted to work in healthcare. When I was in school, I was heavily involved in sports and was regularly working with a physio. I decided that I’d like to do something similar in the future, so studying physiotherapy was an easy decision.”

Choosing the right university for her studies wasn’t too difficult either.

“I grew up in the Waikato and AUT wasn’t too far from my home in Hamilton, and I had heard lots of positive experiences from current and past AUT physiotherapy students.

Supported to thrive
Rylee is grateful for the scholarships she has received to help her fund her studies.

“I received an AUT Welcome to Auckland Scholarship, a Te Pitomata Grant from Te Whatu Ora and a Roy Watling Mitchell Bursaries Scholarship from the Māori Education Trust.”

Because she moved away from her hometown to attend university, receiving these scholarships not only supported her in terms of study costs but also her living costs, she says.

“The AUT Welcome to Auckland Scholarship significantly discounted my first-year uni accommodation costs, which made my transition to living in Auckland a lot easier. The Te Pitomata Grant and the Roy Watling Mitchell Bursaries Scholarship reduced my financial stress for my remaining years of study.”

Making connections
The people she has met throughout her studies have been the highlight of her time at university, says Rylee who is now in the third year of her studies.

“One of the highlights for me is studying with my friends and being with them on campus every day. Meeting new people and making new friends has made study more enjoyable. The Māori support team has also been amazing in offering extra tutoring to prepare for any tricky exams.”

She has some great advice for other students who are thinking about university study.

“My advice would be to immerse yourself in everything and take every opportunity offered to you. I’ve found AUT to be a well-organised establishment that offers new opportunities for everyone.”