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Student story

Caitlin Dowden

20 July 2023

"Studying and living in UC Accommodation has exposed me to many new situations, people and opportunities..."


Studying towards a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing, Human Resource Management and International Business

Mainland Netball Player, Silver Ferns Development Squad Netball NZ

Caitlin had ventured down from Auckland to study at UC, and knew that Christchurch was an ideal location for her next big chapter.

"Christchurch is an exciting city with so many new developments on the rise, I think young people are fortunate to be able to be a part of this experience," she says. "I enjoy the beach and the outdoors, another reason why Christchurch was a fitting choice."

Studying a double degree with a number of majors, Caitlin is making the most of the variety of courses available towards her passions.

"The degrees I am enrolled for creates many opportunities and options for the future. The courses matched up with my interests and utilised my academic strengths that I had developed throughout high school.

"I enjoy my LLB degree because most of the content is new for first year students and therefore it is more of a challenge. Law engages my academic interests in terms of English, history and quick, analytical thinking. In my first year of Commerce I have particularly enjoyed Economics, Marketing and Management which I will continue to study throughout the duration of my degree."

She ended up deciding on Rochester and Rutherford Hall for her accommodation, which became a vital part of her experiences at UC for the support, community and opportunities available there.

"Not only could UC provide me with an excellent, one-of-a-kind education and double degree, but also the accommodation to match. My successful application into Rochester and Rutherford Hall played a significant role in my decision making to study at UC," she says.

Selecting R&R was an immediate decision for Caitlin, and she has found it to have both the sociable and supportive environment she needed to enjoy and do well at uni.

"As soon as I walked through R&R I knew it would be an excellent environment to live in. The students living there were friendly, happy and vibrant, and it has extremely close proximity to University campus and the rest of Christchurch city, as well as the excellent facilities the Hall provides, particularly the rich in tradition Dining Hall. R&R and its values are a great mix of both modern and tradition.

"The highlight of living in UC accommodation this year has been sharing every day with different personalities and new people. It really does give you the best first year experience, as living with fellow students has resulted in great balance of socialising, and academic support. The Tutors of R&R also play an amazing role in ensuring students are having the best possible time and getting everything out of their first year at UC."

Caitlin had also enrolled at UC with an Emerging Leaders’ Scholarship recognising potential and developing leadership skills, which she says is "an incredible programme to be a part of."  She has recently become a part of the ELDP Executive team helping organise projects and events for other students with the scholarship.

As a netball player for the Silver Ferns Development Squad and becoming a Train On Partner for the Tactix next year, Caitlin also received a High Performance Sport NZ Prime Minister's Scholarship, to support her studies alongside training.

"I enjoy UC as it attracts talented people in a wide range of areas. I have been able to successfully balance both the sporting and academic world whilst living in UC Accommodation," she says. "Studying and living in UC Accommodation has exposed me to many new situations, people and opportunities that I will carry with me throughout the rest of my degree at UC."

Having had such a fulfilling experience at R&R, she highly endorses other students to consider staying in a hall of residence to get fully involved.

"Living away from home consists of great learning, development and growth as a young adult. Meeting new people who share similar interests to you while creating life long memories is one of the best opportunities UC Accommodation can provide."

Caitlin has high hopes for the rest of her coming years at UC, and looks forward to a future career utilising both her degree areas.

"A Bachelor of Commerce is a great degree to study towards, whether on its own or as a partnering degree with a Bachelor of Laws. Both Law and Commerce require great time management, strong work ethic and an open attitude towards new learning and ideas.

"I hope to continue to represent the Canterbury region and New Zealand in Netball whilst taking the opportunities I face in my chosen profession by making the most out of them."

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