Creative Arts and Industries

Meet our international students

Students come to study at NICAI from all over Europe, Asia, America, Australia and the Pacific. Here, a few of them share their experiences and aspirations for the future.


Abdul Zainul (Malaysia)

Abdul has been in New Zealand for seven years and loves it. He enjoys living and studying in Auckland because it is "small enough to be personal, but very lively and stimulating", with lots to offer in terms of culture, entertainment and architectural inspiration.

Abdul Zainul is currently studying for a Master of Architecture (Professional) (MArch(Prof)) at the School of Architecture and Planning.

Angelina Lynne Davey (Canada)

"The voice teachers in the School of Music were excellent and I am thankful for their guidance and instruction.

Last year, I enjoyed the opportunity to work on Spanish repertoire for voice and guitar with guitar student Calvin Davidson. This has been an experience of a lifetime, an incredible journey, and I am considering further study in music, perhaps a DMA or a Masters in Music Therapy."

Angelina Lynne Davey has recently completed a Master of Music (MMus), specialising in Voice, at the School of Music.

Megan Couture (USA)

Megan was inspired to study urban planning when she visited Detroit and saw how great the need is to prevent other cities from deteriorating in the same way. She chose to study at The University of Auckland because of its "unique position in one of the world's great international cities", and is thoroughly enjoying being in New Zealand.

Megan Couture is currently studying for a Master of Urban Planning (MUrbPlan) at the School of Architecture and Planning.

Zizuan (Tracey) Guo (China)

Zizuan (Tracey) had the full support of her family to come to New Zealand and study whatever she wanted to. She chose Elam because it is part of "the best university in New Zealand" and because she has the freedom to fully explore her area of interest – making connections between the ancient Chinese philosophy of Taoism and contemporary art.

Zixuan (Tracey) Guo is currently studying for a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) at Elam.


Namita Kambli (India)

“After completing my undergraduate education in India I decided that I wanted to study abroad to see a different part of the world. I opted for the University of Auckland not only because it is New Zealand’s top university but also because Auckland is internationally renowned as one of the world’s most liveable cities!

“A PhD is both challenging and stimulating but the support from my supervisors, colleagues and the Student Learning Centre has been remarkable. I have learnt perseverance, discipline and time management while sharpening my research skills.”

Namita Kambli was the recipient of a University of Auckland International Doctoral Scholarship, and was the first University of Auckland student to receive a PhD in Urban Design.



Mohsen Mohammadzadeh (Iran)

"My PhD in Planning at the National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries has been a great opportunity for me. Since arriving from Iran I have met students from all over New Zealand and overseas, and the friendly and supportive atmosphere has been immensely gratifying. Working with internationally recognized academic staff has improved my knowledge and the research resources and facilities at NICAI are outstanding. 

Receiving the International Doctoral Scholarship has enabled me to focus primarily on my research whereby I am improving my knowledge in planning in order to achieve a high academic standard at the University of Auckland."

Mohsen Mohammadzadeh is currently studying for a PhD in Planning.