New Zealand is attractive to international doctoral students for a range of reasons, such as full work rights, domestic fees, and hospitable family visa provisions. While international students are commonly perceived to be young and carefree, international doctoral students are typically more mature, have professional experience, and often bring their family with them. What are their aspirations, what challenges do they face, and what becomes of them at the end of their study?
I offer a biographical reflection of my experiences as an international PhD candidate, and share what I have learnt from ‘failures’ and what ‘success’ looks like. I consider how being ‘diasporic’ has become a valuable resource for personal sense-making, interpersonal engagement, and imagining the future.
I hope that this presentation will encourage fellow diasporic academics to be reflexive about their experiences and use them as catalysts for personal empowerment and social change.