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Student story

Bethany Kaye-Blake

20 July 2023

Ngāi Tahu

"I love that the University is on one campus as it really strengthens the community feel..."


(Ngāi Tahu)

Studying towards a Bachelor of Engineering with Honours

As a Wellingtonian, what made you decide to come down to UC for study?

There are a number of reasons I chose to come to UC. I was born here and moved up to Wellington during primary school, and have always wanted to move back down. I love that Christchurch and the University are immersed in greenery and the weather is definitely much better than Wellington’s. The other main reason I came to UC was the reputation the Uni and their Engineering School had.

I also did the MATH 199 STAR course and got the scholarship linked to that as well as the UC Hiranga and Horomata scholarships.

And so you decided to stay at Arcady Hall for your first year?

I chose to live in a hall of residence for two reasons. The first was that moving to Christchurch I didn’t really know anyone and the Hall is a great way to meet people and ensure I know at least someone in my classes. The other was a catered hall meant for my first year I didn’t have to worry about cooking as I settled into uni life.

Honestly, I have found the transition to Uni very smooth although at the beginning I was really nervous to make friends as almost all my friends from high school suddenly weren’t in the same city as me, let alone my classes. But getting involved in the events that Arcady ran on the first few days really helped everyone hang out and get to know each other.

I love that the halls are all slightly different so you can pick one that you think would work best for you, but at the same time you still interact with people from other halls and living arrangements.

What’s been a highlight from hall life?

The highlight of my experience so far has definitely been the community at Arcady. There is such a supportive community here and we’ve all become really close with everyone. It can so easily become awkward living with people you’ve never met before, but we’ve all fit in so well together.

The UC staff have been so supportive and really want you to do your best. And I love that the Residential Assistants are so lovely and supportive even when they’re busy with their own study.

How has it been at UC in general?

I love that the University is on one campus as it really strengthens the community feel and makes you feel a part of UC. Everyone has been so lovely and I have found my lecturers are all really happy to help, they want to see you succeed. 

Other than study, I spend most of my time playing music, at ‘Say What’ – the UC improv group within DramaSoc, at Rotary meetings, and doing Kapa Haka. I’ve joined a number of UC clubs that often have activities I go along to, and of course hanging out in the Arcady common room.

With all of those interests, what inspired you to go into an Engineering degree?

Since I can remember, I have always enjoyed problem solving and understanding how things work. As I got older I realised I enjoyed maths and in my last few years of high school found a passion for chemistry. Consequently, I was motivated to study Engineering as it has the academic side and the more hands-on perspective.

So far, I am really enjoying the critical thinking skills I am developing in the problems we’re faced with in lectures and workshops.

Where do you hope to end up with your Engineering studies?

I’m not entirely sure what type of Engineering I want to go into, but I have always been passionate about protecting the environment. My goal is to use my study to develop innovative solutions to the current climate and ecological crisis we are facing.

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