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Student story

Carlos Gaona

20 July 2023

"Your host parents will help you with the things you need..."


Studying towards a Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Civil Engineering

With both parents as engineers, Carlos found himself motivated to follow their path into the industry.

"I grew up hearing about their daily jobs," he says. "I did like hearing about those things and when I looked into engineering I found that there are different fields to choose from."

Settling on Civil Engineering in particular, Carlos decided on UC and travelled from Colombia to pursue his career goals.

"I thought it was a good choice, I liked the campus and that everything in Christchurch is near. I have enjoyed making friends in the University, and being involved with some clubs activities. I like helping sometimes with the Spanish club, and going to the RecCentre to distract myself a bit from the academic things."

He also enjoys the challenge of learning new skills from his studies, and advises other students doing Civil Engineering to make sure they get the most of it by making sure they understand and prepare.

"Is always good to practice more if you can, ask questions in your tutorials, try to make a study group so you can share ideas with them and don't leave everything until the last day something is due."

Carlos had also decided to use homestay accommodation while he is here, which involves living with a Kiwi family to get the full experience of life in New Zealand.

"I found it was a good choice for someone who comes from another country and does know much about the local culture. It is an ideal choice to start with," he says. "Also you can get help in the house with the things that you are not familiar with. Your host parents will help you with the things you need. If you don't know something, you can just ask them, they will give you advice."

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