Meet the Team

National President – Sabrina Alhady

I am from Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. I came to New Zealand in 2016 to study at the University of Otago; starting my education journey in Foundation Year, and then completing a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Politics and minoring in Anthropology. Before joining the NZISA Executive, I was the Otago University Students’ Association (OUSA) International Students’ Officer and represented Otago on the NZISA Representative Council.

Within this role, I hope to engage and empower international students, and improve international student representation and involvement in the decision-making process on an institutional and national level.

Outside of my role, I enjoy eating good food with great company, and exploring my creative side through reading, writing, painting and knitting.

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National Vice President – Afiqah Ramizi

I am a proud Malaysian who still believes to this day that we have all sorts of exotic and affordable food – one of the greater blessings in life that I always miss when living here in New Zealand.

As a 4th year medical student at the University of Auckland, I decided to continue my membership with NZISA (as a part of my non-medical commitments) and this year, gratefully as the elected National Vice President. For 2019, I was the International Students’ Officer of Auckland University Students’ Association (AUSA) and a member of NZISA Rep. Council.

Over the course of several years studying in Auckland, I have realized that it is never easy being an international student no matter how long I have been here. Every year international students are faced with new challenges affected by the international education sector that is rapidly progressing. I may not be a leader who knows everything on policies, laws and legislations. However, I aim to help ease the stages of surviving in this country, with the support from a strong, committed team of council members consisting of locally elected international student leaders.

When I am not working or studying, you might find me in the kitchen trying some new recipes, singing melodious tunes but only the choruses, or watching FRIENDS time and time again.

Contact at:

National Secretary – Maitri Shah

Born and brought up in India, I completed my Bachelor’s in Financial Markets in 2018 and flew to Auckland in 2019 for my Masters in Applied Finance at Auckland University of Technology. Before joining NZISA, I volunteered my time at certain organisations, environmental conventions, and non-profit organisations.

I am a huge advocate mental health and supporting one another, and can relate to the challenges that come with being an international student, as coming into and living in a new country can really impact ones’ mental health. Within this role, I aim to empower and support my fellow international students, and improve the collective international student experience.

Besides my role at NZISA, I enjoy a good cup of tea with an action-packed or a historical controversial novel.

Contact at:

National Treasurer – Steven Wang

I am an international student from China, and my undergraduate degree is in accounting with a major in management. I came to New Zealand at the end of 2018 and am currently studying for a Master’s degree in accounting at Victoria university of Wellington.

When I first came to New Zealand as an international student, the beginning of life was not easy and there were a lot of challenges to face. However, I was lucky that I made some good friends who gave me a lot of support, both in life and study. I know NZISA is an organisation that provides help and support for international students and I am extremely proud to be a member of this association.

Outside of my job, I like to try different cuisines and enjoy sports such as basketball and table tennis. I also like to do all kinds of outdoor sports such as diving and mountaineering, which I find challenging and fun.

Women’s Officer – Kamilla Korokhova

I am the Student Connection President at WelTec and Whitireia, currently finishing my first year Diploma in Business.

Coming from Russia to New Zealand at a young age, I had to face countless challenges on my own without proper support that I wish upon no other international student in New Zealand and am here to help prevent or help with this.

Before going into student politics, I travelled, was and still am volunteering for community organisations, such as rainbow or youth, and enquire a lot into human psychology. This year, I am so grateful to be able to help enable and encourage more international women across the country to speak up and grow in a prosperous environment that we want to create here in New Zealand as a team.

Outside of work, I am doing a lot of self-defence training, networking, having deep talks with my friends, reading educational articles and, of course, watching good films or series.

Contact at:

Public Relations Officer – Ryan Wei

Born in China, studied in Singapore. I am currently in my third year of the Bachelor of Laws (LLB) at Auckland University of Technology. Before my time at NZISA I served as the International Students Officer at Auckland University Students Association.

Public relations is about managing reputation. My goal as Public Relation Officer is to collaborate with internal team and maintain open communication with stakeholders using all forms of media and communication to build, maintain and manage the reputation of NZISA. Mentoring the future leaders is also an important task, the aim is to empower international students and support leadership opportunities for future generations of student leaders.

Outside of NZISA and studying, you will be seeing me on the field coaching/referring school football teams during most weekends.

Contact at:

Auckland University of Technology Students’ Association – International Officer – Prayag Shethia

My name is Prayag Shethia and I am the incoming International Affairs Officer at AUT Student Association! I study Bachelor of Engineering (Honors) degree majoring in Mechatronics engineering! I come from Mumbai, India and being around a crowd has always made me feel comfortable helping and pushing as many as possible!

I am inclined to helping international students in their issues related to the university and mainly play an important role in comforting them as much as possible so that they can adjust as fast as possible! From networking and employment series to advocacy and academic help, I want to be as big a support as I can!

Lincoln University Students’ Association – International Representative – Balaji Leksshman

I am Balaji. I was born in Tamilnadu, a southern state of India, and completed my Bachelor’s in chemical engineering. I always wanted to be an industrialist so I decided to pursue my postgraduate degree in food innovation at Lincoln University.

I always look forward to learn, practice and improve myself everyday. Taking risks and maturing as an ideal personality is my way of attitude towards new situations and a new environment.

Being the International Representative for LUSA and being an NZISA Representative Council member is a great opportunity to help students and the international community. Apart from my studies and work, I’m a DJ, so I play and create electronic music in my free time.

New Zealand Chinese Students’ Association – President – Summer Xia

I am Summer the 2020 President of NZCSA (New Zealand Chinese Students’ Association). I am from Shenzhen China and have been in New Zealand for eight years.

I am currently doing 5th year Mechanical Engineering, Finance and Information Systems at UoA.

Otago University Students’ Association – International Students’ Officer – Arina Aizal

I’m Arina, a final year University of Otago student in Bachelor of Arts majoring Psychology and minoring Gender Studies. Just like you, I’m an international student. I have made Dunedin my home and I’m passionate about ensuring that international students here have an amazing and diverse cultural experience at Otago. I represent international students in terms of advocacy and also coordinating cultural events.

Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association – President – Geo Robrigado

Waikato International Students’ Association – President – Kaitlyn Saunders

My name is Kaitlyn and I am the current President of the Waikato International Students’ Association (WISA). I am in my final year of a Bachelor of Business and am double majoring in Economics and Finance. I am a domestic student, but find it very important to make those who are from other countries feel welcome in New Zealand. As well as being president of an international student club, I am a mentor to incoming international students and a volunteer with the English Language Development program at the University of Waikato.
I am very proud to be the face of WISA as we aim to create a community that is welcoming and accepting to anyone and everyone.  We host at least two international-themed events each year which promote our inclusive club environment.

WelTec and Whitireia – Student Connection President – Kamilla Korokhova

I’m Kamilla and I came from Russia to do my first-year Diploma in Business. As an international student, I was unfortunate to experience a lot of stress and struggles that needed to be carried on my own. I’m here now, making sure others don’t have to go through all that and have someone out there taking care of their experiences. At Student Connection, we do our best to support each and every individual with any issues they may have.

Auckland University Students’ Association – International Officer – vacant

Massey University Students’ Association – International Officer – vacant