Taimane Katarina Hotere

Taimane Katarina Hotere

3rd-year student, Bachelor of Arts in International Studies, with minors in Asian Studies and Language Teaching

Tainui, Ngāpuhi, Brazilian

Going on a student exchange was an opportunity to study in a country she otherwise wouldn’t be able to experience, says Taimane Katarina Hotere who spent a semester at Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan.

“I wanted to go on a student exchange because I knew it would be beneficial and relevant to my international studies degree.

“I loved learning about Japanese culture, and making friends from both Japan and other countries while I was on my student exchange. I also enjoyed being in a country that is culturally opposite to New Zealand and loved seeing those differences for myself.”

Connections with other cultures
After growing up in a multicultural household, Taimane says she has always been fascinated by different cultures and deciding to enrol in AUT’s Bachelor of Arts in International Studies was an obvious choice for her.

“One of the reasons why I love New Zealand is because of how internationally and culturally diverse it is. It’s because of this that I chose this degree. My family is part Māori and part Brazilian, and one of the things I’ve always been good at is making connections with people from other cultures, so I thought that I would do a degree on it.

“The international studies degree was unique to AUT and it matched what I ideally wanted to use in my life. I also liked that AUT isn’t rigid and only focused on academics, but also values the connections between students and lecturers. I’ve enjoyed being able to learn about other cultures as well as people in society.”

Expecting to graduate in 2024, Taimane already has a good idea of how she sees her future.

“I want to be able to work in a culturally rich environment, preferably with immigrant children and teaching them English in New Zealand, or volunteering for UNICEF as an educator. In general, I want to enter a profession where I can help people.”

Making the most of uni life
She has enjoyed the university environment at AUT, Taimane says.

“I’ve enjoyed how easy it is to make friends and maintain relationships with others, including your lecturers. Even just hanging out in the common areas around AUT where there are a lot of activities and events going on is great.”

Her advice for other students is to make the most of uni life.

“My advice would be to take up the opportunities that are presented to you because you don’t know if they will present itself again. It might just be one of the best memories that you have later on in life.”