Jonathan Chuah - “Why I came to New Zealand”

Jonathan Chuah

Jonathan Chuah is a Food Science student who has left the bustling metropolis of Singapore to study in New Zealand's student-friendly Dunedin.


My name is Jonathan Chuah, and I’m from Singapore - a tiny dot just south of Malaysia on the world map.

Firstly, I would like to thank Victoria McEniery from the International Office, for giving me a wonderful opportunity to be part of Otago bloggers!

I am currently in my 4th year of a food science degree at Otago University and I love it. I chose food science at Otago because its food science programme offers really interesting papers that allow me to combine my great passion for food and my love for studying science. Otago is also well known for its strong reputation as a university in New Zealand, with awesome research quality and wonderful lecturers.

Singapore streets

“I’m from Singapore - a tiny dot just south of Malaysia on the world map”

Dunedin is one of the best student towns in the world, kind of like a mini SimCity, where everywhere is pretty much walkable and you can bump into any friend on campus (I'm smiling and waving to someone from a distance at the moment).

Why New Zealand?

Well, actually I never thought of being in New Zealand in the first place. Most of my graduating classmates applied for Australian or UK universities, which I did too initially. Things got interesting when I attended a ‘Study Overseas’ seminar organised by the Overseas Academic Link Singapore (OAL), an education agency representing overseas institutions. 

Amazingly, I learnt about Otago and its food science programme in the seminar.

I thought it was really appealing, and it excited me even more when Alvin, one of the guys from OAL told me about a meet and greet session from Otago University representatives. Yeah, and that’s how I met Victoria.

Excellent food science programme, wonderful student lifestyle, cool campus environment, affordable living costs. You name it! The path seemed clear and I followed it, and here I am, happy like a mouse with cheese. 

For prospective students out there, keep looking and explore many options. You never know when that extra effort can change your life!