Profile of Daniel Gamboa Salazar

Young bearded man looking down at notebook with diagonal wooden slats on background wall
Daniel Gamboa Salazar, Bachelor of Arts student in International Relations

Opening my eyes to how the world works

“The University gave me the strength to overcome my refugee past and the critical thinking skills to help those in the same situation.

“I came to New Zealand as a refugee from Colombia. Since I heard that Victoria University of Wellington has one of the best Political Science and International Relations programmes in New Zealand, I knew I wanted to study here.

“It seemed almost impossible to start my degree, because I didn’t speak English and my Colombian school qualifications weren’t up to the New Zealand academic standards. However, the University gave me the tools and support through the English Proficiency and Foundation Studies programmes to successfully start my Bachelor of Arts.

“International Relations has opened my eyes to many new perspectives. It has even helped me to explore and finally understand the conflict in my home country, Colombia. On the other hand, Political Science has helped me to understand the way my new country, New Zealand, works.

“The University encouraged me to step outside my comfort zone and put into practice what I learnt in the classroom. All the knowledge that I’ve acquired—and am still acquiring from my degree—has enabled me to become the president of the New Zealand National Refugee Youth Council.”