Tāmaki Innovation Campus


Areej Asad

Areej Asad is an international student untaking a PhD in speech science.

What are you studying?

I am a postgraduate (PhD) student in the Speech Science programme. I am a speech language therapist who used to work at the Center for Phonetics Research, Speech and Hearing Clinic at the University of Jordan. I am studying the speech production of children with hearing loss in New Zealand.

Why did you choose to come to The University of Auckland to study?

In 2009, the Vice-Chancellor visited the University of Jordan and talked about the prestigious postgraduate programmes, and the summer research scholarships at The University of Auckland. I was excited after I heard his speech and I wanted to do my PhD at The University of Auckland. The only challenge I had at that time was to convince my parents that I will be safe in New Zealand. I thought if I get the summer research scholarship and live in New Zealand for three months, I will be able to convince my parents to let me do my PhD at The University of Auckland. Eventually, this is what happened. During the summer research scholarship, I had the honor to work with a highly professional, enthusiastic, and energetic researcher Professor Suzanne Purdy. In 2011, I met Dr Caroline Daley (University of Auckland Dean of Graduate Studies) at the University of Jordan and she encouraged me to proceed in my postgraduate application for “The University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship”.

What has your experience of studying and living in New Zealand been like?

I am glad that I am doing my PhD at The University of Auckland. It is a full-on experience. I still remember the postgraduate induction day in which I was told the PhD journey is like a roller coaster. Through this journey, I have the joy of gaining knowledge, developing my research skills and my character. Doing my research in order to provide better services for children with hearing loss is the foundation of where my passion began and I continue to embrace every day of my life. I believe that “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page” (Saint Augustine) – this reflects my experience in living in New Zealand. I have learned that Kiwi people are friendly, caring, have a sense of humor, and love Rugby “All Blacks”.

What do you hope to do in the future?

After I finish my PhD, I will do my post doc and work in academia. I want to develop a speech assessment tool and better treatments for monolingual and bilingual children with hearing loss.