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Student story

Cathleen Hii

20 July 2023

"I find that the UC campus is well-designed for students to enjoy during their studies..."


Master of Education with an endorsement in Curriculum and Pedagogy

Early Childhood Teacher, High Five Early Learning Centre, Wellington, New Zealand

Originally from Malaysia, Cathleen came to the University of Canterbury to pursue and develop her knowledge in the education field.  Back home, Cathleen studied Early Childhood Education from Methodist Pilley Institute, Sibu, and graduated with a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education with Honours from HELP University in Malaysia. There, she had the opportunity to meet a representative from University of Canterbury who introduced the different programmes to her. 

She is particularly attracted to the student lifestyle at UC and what Christchurch has to offer.  This inspired her to pursue her studies in the Master of Education with an endorsement in Curriculum and Pedagogy.

The natural and cultural diversity of New Zealand are some of the key factors that attracted her to choose Christchurch and UC as her “second home”.

“I find that the UC campus is well-designed for students to enjoy during their studies from all the on-campus cafés, restaurants, post centre, bookshop, Ilam fields, the beautiful Ilam gardens, and so much more,’ she says. 'Personally, love the central library that provides a quiet place and free access to research materials.”

Being part of UC helped Cathleen develop her people skills that she needs to perform her job better.

“Working in the education sector means working with different people, which requires people skills such as effective communication. UC helped me to develop these transferable skills that not only is beneficial to my career, but also in my life to become a better person.”

Nowadays, Cathleen is living in Wellington and working as a qualified early childhood teacher with the infants and toddlers’ group in High Five Early Learning Centre, in Hataitai. Cathleen is grateful to be working in a supportive environment that makes her feel at home.

Likewise, Cathleen wants other students not to be afraid to start making connections with other students to gain more knowledge in their profession.

“Make the connection with people around you. Everyone in this career is a professional or specialist in certain areas. You will gain a lot from their experience in classrooms in an open and honest way.” 

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