Surita Manoa

Third-year student Surita Manoa loves the tight-knit community and the variation between the creative and the technical in her Bachelor of Architectural Studies degree.

Surita Manoa
Surita Manoa

‟The University of Auckland was the right choice for me because the School of Architecture and Planning has a strong standing internationally. I also like Auckland’s approach to architectural study. We get a real mix.

“We’re given full rein to design in a very creative way, but that’s balanced by technical classes where we learn about building construction. We also study architectural history. I like that varied approach.

“For instance, I really enjoyed a design paper this year that combined creativity with practicality and work experience. Our site was on Quail Island in Christchurch. We got to do a site visit and also spend time at our tutor’s firm in Lyttelton. Through these sorts of projects we gain knowledge from people in the field as well as building professional connections.

“Studying at Auckland has been a great social experience too. Architecture is a tight-knit school. I’ve been able to meet so many people who love what I love – both in my studies and in my sporting life. As well as playing tennis, I’ve been fortunate enough to represent the University in inter-tertiary volleyball nationals.

“The support offered by the University has been great. I won a University of Auckland Chancellor’s Award for top Māori and Pacific Scholars. This has helped me to fund materials for my projects.

“ I’ve also been involved in Tuākana, a support programme for Māori and Pacific students, first as a mentee and now a mentor. I’ve gained a lot from Tuākana, and it’s offered me an opportunity to give back. As well as that, the programme has been another opportunity for me to meet people outside of my faculty.”