Tina is studying towards a Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom. She came to the University of Auckland with a Northern Hemisphere Summer Research Scholarship in 2018.
“Being able to get involved with current research in a field that really interests me is my main motivation for coming to the University of Auckland, but being able to explore the other side of the world and see what research is like in other countries is an equally valuable experience. In my field, Biomedical Sciences, I’ve seen a lot of people travel for research, so creating networks across countries is incredibly useful.
It feels great to be a recipient of the Northern Hemisphere Summer Research Scholarship. The process can be lengthy but the experience is unparalleled.
“It has helped me to not only travel across a great country, but to learn new laboratory skills and get involved in current medical research in areas I wouldn’t have otherwise explored. It also feels amazing to have your hard work recognised and rewarded in a way that further benefits your career and general life experiences.
“The skills I gained from working in a professional chemistry lab will be invaluable to my career. At the University of Auckland I was working with a team on making a type of dye that most effectively enters the brain and selectively binds to brain tumours to image them and help treat them at the same time. Brain tumours remain one of the hardest cancers to cure, owing mostly to the difficulty of reaching them, so being able to utilise these dyes in effective treatment could be life-saving.
“Although I may have missed some visual spectacles because of the wintery weather, the actual temperature is very mild and it let me miss the awful heatwave back at home! The snowy mountains make for great South Island experiences and give a certain majesty I wouldn’t expect in the summer. I have made great friends from across the world who arrived to do this research scholarship, and we had a lot of fun exploring New Zealand together.
“Studying abroad may seem daunting and there’s a lot of preparation involved, but once you’re stuck in and doing what you love in a new, exciting place, it will definitely feel like it was all worth it.”