'I really enjoy learning how to think critically and to solve problems...'
For Naoka, studying towards a degree with a heavy use in English was a challenge that she was eager to aim for. Originally from Malaysia and later Japan, Naoka has learnt to speak several languages including Japanese, Chinese, Malay and English.
As such, she believes studying towards a Law degree could be of huge benefit when it comes to international or cultural law issues.
‘Because of my multinational background, it has allowed me the opportunity to develop some awareness and sensitivity to various cultural backgrounds. Therefore although I am still not quite sure as to what area of law I would like to specialise in I would like to help people from various social and cultural backgrounds with their particular concerns as a lawyer.’
Naoka started putting her skills into practice by volunteering at the Christchurch Community Law Centre. ‘I looked forward to helping the people in Christchurch. I also looked to further develop my legal problem solving skills and interviewing skills as a volunteer,’ she says.
Choosing to study Law was a decision Naoka considered the best for her current passions and for the future.
‘I chose Law because I’ve loved reading since I was young and I knew that it will open up to many career options for me in the future. Although I knew that studying law would require a high level of English language skills, as an international student I was prepared and willing to challenge myself.
‘I really enjoy learning how to think critically and to solve problems,’ she says. ‘Reading cases sometimes can be very daunting as they can be very difficult to understand or long but it is very interesting once you learn the legal principles and are able to apply them to the issues that you are faced with.’
Naoka found settling in at UC easy thanks to her student mentor.
‘I have been very grateful for having a wonderful and supportive mentor assigned for me when I started my first year at UC. My mentor has been very helpful with my studies, connecting with fellow students and adapting my life as a student studying at UC. Even after a few years we still keep in touch and my mentor is someone that I can openly talk to when I encounter any difficulties.’
Naoka has thoroughly enjoyed her time in New Zealand.
‘It is because of the relaxed environment, friendly people and especially the beautiful nature in Christchurch,’ she says. ‘I especially enjoy the varieties of stunning parks and gardens that the city provides. It is very enjoyable and relaxing walking around them.
‘The campus is very beautiful surrounded by lots of greens and the library has variety of facilities, services and workshops that can help students. I also enjoy my lectures lead by passionate lecturers who keep our interests up and are always willing to answer the questions that we come across. Overall the most important thing is to enjoy every moment and be very passionate about what you do!’