Priscilia Widjaja - “Study Hard, Work Hard, and Play Hard - Dunedin Style”


 Priscilia Widjaja

Priscilia travelled all the way to New Zealand from her home in Indonesia to study Human Nutrition. When she’s not studying you’ll find her taking great photos of the wonderful scenery that surrounds her. 

Study Hard

I was pretty nervous because of the exams. Not only because I have left university for a year, but also because I need to answer all the questions in English. That was my first-time-ever exam in a language different from my mother tongue. The first exam was a 3-hour exam, inside the Otago Museum. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read the room placement, but I wasn’t wrong. The exam was held in the seminar room, inside one of my favourite places in Dunedin. I was relieved, and didn’t get too nervous about the exams afterwards. And after long and gloomy study days in the library (the heat pump in my flat was broken so it was really cold), I finally managed to pass all the subjects. Yay! And I got myself a gift: splurging on a sushi restaurant. Yum!


“And I got myself a gift …”

Work Hard

The best thing after finishing an exam is going on a holiday. Of course I had planned to go on a road trip around New Zealand’s South Island, until I got an important call. It was from a fine dining restaurant owner, offering me a part-time job. I have been looking for a part-time job since the first time I set my feet in Dunedin, so that was an offer I couldn’t reject. The whole holiday plan was over, but I didn’t feel sad; I felt excited. Having a part-time job while attending university was a thing I have dreamt of since I was still in Indonesia. It was hard back then because being a medical student means I didn’t have a life. At least, I didn’t have time to gain new experiences outside school and to grow as a person.


“I have been looking for a part-time job …”

The job at the wee nice restaurant was not the only job I did on my holiday. I was offered another job, which was even more interesting because of its relation to my major, human nutrition. My main role was to educate people about healthy eating and promote vegetarian meals, which I enjoyed the most. It was fascinating to meet many people, talk about food, and make new connections. I learned many things from this job, from dealing with communication issues to learning about public food choices.


“My main role was to educate people about healthy eating …”