'I wanted to do something that would make a difference in the world...'
Studying towards a Master of Speech and Language Pathology
Returning to university 15 years after initially graduating, Rebecca looked forward to her chance at carrying out meaningful postgraduate study. ‘I wanted to do something that would make a difference in the world and something which I could feel proud of and which my children could feel proud of,’ she says.
Rebecca had spent several years living overseas in Japan and the UK, and had since started a family with three children. After moving back to New Zealand and wanting a new and more fulfilling career change, it was suggested that she look into Speech and language Pathology at UC.
‘I needed to fulfil some prerequisites, so I completed an anatomy and physiology course online through the University of Iowa and a UC summer school Linguistics course (LING 101). These papers were a good introduction to the course and a useful reintroduction to studying.’
It has been well worth the extra effort for Rebecca, who has found Speech and Language Pathology to be a newfound passion and exactly what she needed.
‘Going back to studying has given me a new direction and a feeling of purpose,’ she says. ‘I have found it is a totally different experience to when I was doing my undergraduate degree straight out of high school. For me, there is more meaning behind studying second time around and more incentive to work hard and succeed. I enjoy the close knit year group that we have and the support I gain from them.’
With her previous experiences in primary education studies, Rebecca has found it an easy and enjoyable transition to working with patients with communication disorders.
‘I love the practical experiences I have had during the course of my study. Meeting and working with people from different ages and backgrounds has been interesting and I have learnt a lot from them.
‘Going into this degree, I had thought I would be looking for a job working with children, however, having had some involvement now working with older people, I have found this is an area which I also enjoy and in which I could also see myself working.’
She is especially thankful for the support she has been given that has made this new phase possible.
‘I have been lucky in going back to study, in that I have very supportive family and friends who are sometimes called upon to help out with childcare,’ she says. ‘Juggling family and study is not easy but I feel that the benefits to the whole family will be worth it. My children are seeing their mother working hard and succeeding in a bid to improve all our lives and what better lesson for them to learn?’