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Student story

Ashleigh Leonard

20 July 2023

"It’s great to live with people who are doing the same as you and making friends for life..."


Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (Primary)

As a coach for tennis and football during high school, Ashleigh was inspired by her experiences working with primary school children and formed a new passion for teaching.

"I enjoyed watching the children’s reactions as they achieved new milestones in their games and this helped me cement my decision to become a teacher,’ she says. "I want to be the best teacher I can possibly be and make a positive impression on the younger generation."

The hands-on approach to the Primary Teaching degree is the best part for Ashleigh, who enjoys the opportunity to apply her skills to real classrooms.

"The support and knowledge of the lecturers is invaluable and they want you to succeed. I thoroughly enjoy going out on placement and found it to be a very valuable part of my learning. It is important to be able to put the theory side of the degree into practice to help you connect it all together.

"Being on placement gives you confidence and the necessary skills to teach in the classroom. Definitely go for it, take every opportunity offered to you, don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek help if needed."

UC met a lot of her expectations for a university, with its practical teaching programme, and campus lifestyle. Ashleigh has especially enjoyed the sporting community and plays competitively in the UC Women’s Premier football team.

"I chose to study at UC because it was close to my home town and had a good reputation. It also enabled me to continue playing my chosen sports (tennis and football) for the Christchurch clubs that I had been part of for several years, which was very important to me.

"I enjoy everything about it. How easy it is to study and get help if required. The campus is simple but provides you with everything needed. Very easy to study, have a social life and still participate in sports."

For her first year, Ashleigh chose to live at Waitākiri Village after taking a tour and liking the facilities and smaller accommodation community.

"It looked really clean and tidy. It was smaller than all the other halls and offered larger rooms,’ she says. I’ve loved meeting a whole bunch of new people - having a very tight-knit hall where everybody gets on and helps out with study, the activities we have at Waitākiri whether they be onsite or out in the community. The facilities are always clean and peaceful so you always feel safe."

Getting such a keen start to uni life, Ashleigh highly recommends future students apply for UC accommodation.

"It’s great to live with people who are doing the same as you and making friends for life. Living in a hall of residence is a great way to start your first year at Uni so I’d recommend doing it."

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