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Student story

Doug Monnig

20 July 2023

"If you’re keen for nature, travel, and outdoor sports then UC is a great place for you..."


Study Abroad student

Certificate of Proficiency Science

Doug’s interests in environmental science drove him to expand his cultural horizons by coming to New Zealand for study at UC.

“I am interested in studying environmental science and public health because of the variety of pathways they offer. My motivation and goals for my Study Abroad experience are driven from wanting a multicultural perspective.”

His desire to understand other cultures as well as explore new places made his decision to study at UC a simple one.

“The University of Canterbury has a Study Abroad programme with my home university and offers a wide range of courses from science/engineering to multiple cultural experiences. I am enjoying my courses this semester and broadening my horizons. I expected New Zealand to be smaller, but there is so much to do and see.”

Doug found himself far from home, however getting accustomed to his new life at UC was simpler than he anticipated.

“Adjusting to UC was like a breath of fresh air, from the start there are events and clubs and lots of people open to being your friends. In other words, it is easy to engage with UC and getting to know people in the Study Abroad programme is a lot of fun and fresh. I joined a few clubs like UCCC (UC Canoeing Club) and Cuba, and a club for the environment (local film screenings and events), and this helped me meet kiwis and engage with the community.”

The similarities and difference between his home town and Christchurch became clearer the more Doug experienced UC’s vibrant culture.

“Christchurch is a great home base and gateway to the South Island of New Zealand, and there are some differences and similarities to my home in California and home university. To start, Christchurch (and UC) is a very accepting place and offers a lot of opportunity. Compared to my university back home (Hampshire College), UC has a great population and doesn’t feel too big or small: manageable and not overwhelming.”

Doug’s overall experience in New Zealand is one he will never forget.

“Life in New Zealand is awesome because every day is different! If you’re keen for nature, travel, and outdoor sports then UC is a great place for you. My experience here learning about the land, culture, and ethics has pushed my limits physically and mentally. The land continues to amaze and impress me and this truly is a beautiful country. There is so much to see in the South Island and it is a lot of fun road tripping with friends, and there is equally as much to see in the North Island.”

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