Luca Nazari (Iran)

Studying marine studies

Luca Nazari

“After learning to scuba dive in 2008 I decided to volunteer in marine conservation with World Wildlife Fund. I was living and diving in Malaysia, where I met a diver working for the Kuala Lumpur Aquarium. He had done the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic Marine Studies diploma and degree. It sounded perfect for me. I had already learnt to dive, but ironically it is one of the things that is taught on the marine studies course.

“Living in Tauranga is one of the highlights of coming to New Zealand. The marine studies staff at the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic are all full of life. It’s not like a lecturer/student relationship; it’s more like learning from a friend. Tauranga is one of those places I don’t think I will ever forget, it’s absolutely relaxing.

“I had to produce a presentation for the course and I chose to study New Zealand’s Little Blue Penguins living at Mount Maunganui in the Tauranga Harbour. I camped there three times. I used my torch to look for penguins – you can see their eyes shining at night. The first time I saw the penguins in the wild, it was a full moon and full tide. When they came to shore, I felt as though my stomach melted. My classmates were all at the city clubbing that night, and there I was spending quality time with penguins! It was pretty exceptional.”