'UC was offering exactly the types of classes I was looking for...'
Study Abroad student
Certificate of Proficiency Science
For his study abroad experience, David wanted to pick a location that would give him the best to offer for travel in a short period of time around study.
‘New Zealand is an absolutely amazing country that offers so much in terms of traveling and sightseeing. It is also small enough that I was able to see most of the things I wanted to in one semester’s time. The climate is perfect and there are many opportunities for hiking and exploring.’
Back home, at the University of Illinois in the USA, David studies Engineering Physics with minors in Computer Science and Mathematics. With plans to start a career in programming and software development, he was keen on picking an overseas university that would give him new and useful insights.
‘I chose UC for a few reasons. Primarily, it's a prestigious university that has great courses, faculty and resources. The University was offering exactly the types of classes I was looking for and the classes turned out to be very enriching and engaging,’ he says. ‘It is also centrally located in the South Island of New Zealand, making traveling easier.’
David’s favourite course in particular was MATH 302 Partial Differential Equations, which matched well with his areas of interest.
‘The applications of the class material are immense,’ he says. ‘PDEs are everywhere and can be used to describe so many different systems and situations. As someone studying Physics, I feel that the information I learned in this class will be most useful to me in the future.
‘The classes here were fulfilling and informative. I learned a lot from each class. The professors and lecturers kept the class engaged and always tried to make sure everyone was following the material. Overall, I would say my favourite thing about my experience here at UC would be my classes.’
He made sure to explore New Zealand outside of study during his spare time, however.
‘UC has a few long breaks that gave me time to plan trips. I visited almost all major cities in the North and South Island, as well as some smaller ones. I was able to do a few amazing hikes as well.
‘My favourite memory was climbing Roys Peak in Wanaka. The hike itself was fairly challenging. 8 km up steep hill requires a bit of preparation and motivation. Once at the top though, every ounce of that challenge becomes worth it. The view is unbelievable and indescribable. It was by far my favourite moment of my entire semester here in New Zealand.’
As such, David advises future study abroad students to make the most of both academic and adventure opportunities while at UC.
‘Sign up for challenging classes, because even though they make take a bit more time, you still have heaps of time to travel and see the country,’ he says. ‘You can have a great semester exploring and still accrue relevant credit for your home university.’