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Student story

Angelina (Biying) Bao

20 July 2023

"UC is like a big family..."


Postgraduate Diploma in Business

Master of Education with an endorsement in Teaching and Learning Languages

Project Administration, Artisan Stone, Christchurch

Chinese tutor, Self-employed


After Angelina finished her Bachelor of Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language at The Capital University of Economics and Business back home in Beijing, China, she wanted to continue her studies overseas. The New Zealand culture and the relaxing lifestyle convinced her to choose Christchurch as her second home.

"The culture in New Zealand is very different from my hometown, and I wanted to come to experience it," she says. "It is a beautiful and inclusive country, which makes it ideal for international students. Also, I can practise my English here.

"Christchurch is a lovely city, ideal for studying and living, with a beautiful environment, complete infrastructure, convenient transportation, many opportunities for students to have part-time jobs and internships, and many friendly people. I have been living in Christchurch for seven years, and it has become my home."

In her research for a university in New Zealand, the University of Canterbury stood out as it is among the top one per cent in the world, with world-class degrees and modern facilities. She started her journey at UC studying for a Postgraduate Diploma in Business for one year.

After she finished her studies, she wanted to go back to teaching.

"I was keen to connect my Bachelor's to my Master's. I am very interested in teaching languages, especially Chinese. I did some research, and UC's Master of Education (MEd) has a good reputation throughout New Zealand. After discussing it with my family, I finally decided to do a master's. It was not an easy decision, but it was the right one."

She found support in her career transition through the UC staff and the different support services available on campus.

"UC is like a big family. Everyone is friendly; not just the lecturers and students, but the rest of the staff. I felt supported at UC when I planned to study for a Master of Education. The Student Advisor from the Faculty of Education and Elizabeth Zou from IRO gave me many ideas and helped me to enrol successfully. They analysed my background and career plan, giving me the right information to make it possible. Without them, I could not have been able to choose the degree and courses that suited me best. When I think of them, I still feel very thankful."

Students can find almost everything on campus.

She says, "it is very convenient to study at UC. It has a bookshop, cafés, bubble milk tea, and a gym. UC has the facilities and departments needed to support international students, and new students can fit in quickly".

After she got graduated with her Master of Education in Teaching and Learning Languages, she started work at the Faculty of Education at UC as a Programme Assistant.

"I mainly supported short-term exchange students and teachers from China or other countries. I had the opportunity to be a simultaneous interpreter and also worked as a teacher-aid to help teachers during classes and activities. I gained a lot of valuable experience from this job. If you have a similar opportunity, please take it."

Nowadays, she works at Artisan Stone in Christchurch as a Project Administrator, and at the same time as a Language tutor, teaching the Chinese language. She found out how convenient the theoretical and practical knowledge that she got at UC has been, and she uses and applies it daily with her students.

"I have applied theoretical knowledge learned at UC in my Chinese teaching, which has helped me improve my teaching methods. UC's Master of Education courses combines theory with practice which is very useful.

"I teach the Chinese language to Kiwi students, including listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Most of my students are primary and intermediate school students. I also have some adult Kiwi students who are very interested in Chinese culture and learning the language to improve their jobs. Most of them are from Christchurch, but I also teach online to people who live in Auckland, Australia, and Malaysia."

Her advice for newcomers is to seek help when they need it.

"UC has a lot of facilities and resources to help all the students, such as the Career Centre, Academic Centre, IRO, and others. If you don't know where to go or who can help you, please check the official website or ask UC staff. By the way, if you can get an NZ driver's license, that will be very helpful."

In the future, she wants to do a PhD in language education to improve her teaching methods.

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