Talie Mundia

Talie is a New Zealand Scholarship recipient, who hopes to use his Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Civil Engineering to improve infrastructure in his home country, Samoa.

“I was born in Papua New Guinea, however I’m half Samoan and half Zambian. I’ve also moved around to various countries (Swaziland and Brunei) with my family before settling in Samoa in 2014, and later here in Aotearoa when I received a New Zealand Scholarship. I’m very fortunate to have been raised in different countries as it has broadened my world view and understanding of cultures.

“Reflecting back to my experiences in Samoa and the village and community that I’m from, I realised that civil engineering would be a wise choice for my specialisation, to directly contribute back to Samoa’s development. I hope to affect positive change in Samoa’s rural areas and villages, including the improvement of access to roads, water and electricity. Becoming a civil engineer will enable me to apply my knowledge and work experience to the design of better infrastructure back in Samoa.

“My proudest achievement so far is being awarded a New Zealand Scholarship, allowing me to come to New Zealand and study for a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours). Not only did the scholarship give me the financial means to study in a top-ranked school and a wonderful country, it has inspired me to encourage future generations of Pacific Island and Māori students to pursue and succeed in engineering careers.”

A New Zealand Scholarship is so much more than just a way to obtain an academic certificate of recognition. It’s an opportunity to explore your passions, plan for your future career, meet amazing people, broaden your way of thinking and contribute to your own communities back home. It’s an opportunity to grow in all areas of your life.

“The University of Auckland is highly ranked among all the universities in New Zealand, and I was impressed that the School of Civil Engineering is among the top 50 in the world. The teaching and academic staff is very supportive and responsive. Some lecturers, such as the Head of Department (Civil and Environmental) Jason Ingham, encourage Māori and Pacific Island civil engineering students to promote our identity and showcase our culture here at the University.

“In the future I hope to gain experience working in Samoa and New Zealand, and plan on using my skills and knowledge to support development and sustainability projects in Samoa. I am currently thinking about how I could set up a plan to help Māori and Pacific Island students contribute back to their local and regional communities, promoting development whilst studying engineering.”