Geena Chakiamury Joseph

Geena is studying for a PhD in Sociology. Her research topic is Social capital, socio-economic wellbeing and integration of Indians in Auckland, New Zealand.

Geena Chakiamury Joseph

“I am interested in this topic because ‘Indians’ constitute a far more diverse group than is commonly perceived from outside. Born in multicultural Indian society, I was very keen to understand what aspects of Indians’ multiple identities become significant for the social integration of Indian migrants in New Zealand. Auckland is an ideal study setting for my research, as it is an attractive destination for migrants.

“Migration can sometimes be a daunting experience for those moving into a new country without prior social connections. But the social networks established in the new land can be far more enriching and bonding than the ones back home.

“The people in Sociology create a friendly study environment. The smiling faces in the corridor and the coffee room, and the weekly departmental seminars, have become important platforms for broadening intellectual inquiry and helping my familiarity with the system. The quality supervision and independent scholarship also promote this stress-free learning atmosphere.

“When I first arrived, I found juggling academics and financial pressures extremely stressful. The University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship was so timely and has enabled me devote myself to the goal of completing this project without financial burdens. Scholarship applications can be time-consuming, but having a scholarship undoubtedly brings life back under control for students.

“Having this scholarship, with an annual stipend and tuition fee waiver for three years, has also enabled me to secure a hassle-free visa for the period of my study in New Zealand. It has made a real difference. Life seems to be a lot better this year.”

Find out more about studying Sociology.