Lina Gonzalez

Lina is studying for a PhD in Politics and International Relations.

Lina Gonzalez

“I am originally from Colombia (South America) from a city called Barranquilla.

“The quality of research at The University of Auckland and the distinguished academics in my department influenced my decision to pursue my doctorate in New Zealand. The availability of scholarships for international students was also a strong motivation to study here at The University of Auckland. I got a full scholarship covering tuition and living expenses that has supported my studies for the last three years. I am very grateful for the support I have received.

“Auckland is a great city to study and meet people from all around the world. The cultural diversity of Auckland creates a vibrant environment that is also reflected at the University level. My other PhD colleagues are from more than 15 different countries, which has strengthened my cultural knowledge and awareness.

“As a researcher, I am committed to advancing the study of Latin American Politics and Colombian politics in my home country and internationally. My thesis reviews the theory and empirics of the relationship between decentralisation and armed conflict in Colombia to better understand how local governments and conflict intersect and the degree of local autonomy in the country. My PhD research is looking to push theoretical and empirical boundaries that will be important in expanding knowledge and informing policy practice for the study of governance in the context of armed conflict.

“Doing a PhD is a very intensive and demanding experience that requires a lot of work. But it is also a fantastic and unique opportunity to dedicate a solid amount of time to research a topic of your interest.

“Advice that I can give to potential postgraduate students is that it is very useful to join a group or a club while you are doing your studies. With other Latin American postgraduate students we organised a Latin American student group (ENLACES) and we meet on a regular basis. It is fabulous to talk to other postgraduate students who are going through the same journey.”

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