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Student story

Ed Cook

20 July 2023

"The chance to practically apply what I’m learning in my own neighbourhood makes UC invaluable..."



Bachelor of Science in Geography

After finding inspiration from social studies at high school, Geography became “the obvious choice” for Ed’s university study. It was in particular the “jack of all trades” aspect of the subject that appealed to him the most, leading to a wider range of careers and flexible skills.

“The huge breadth of the subject meant I could actually cover content on different disciplines while doing a single paper,” he says. “What I’m studying and passionate about now is a result of different influences from across different faculties, and completely different to what I intended on doing coming out of high school!”

Originally from Wellington, Ed was looking for a university in a prime location for his studies and passion for the outdoors. UC and the Canterbury region turned out to be the best of both worlds.

“Christchurch post-quake is an absolute boomtown for an undergraduate. If you are looking for an opportunity to do something extraordinary this is the place to come! I quickly realised when picking a university to study Geography that having a city on your doorstep that is a real life case study of what was in the textbooks was an opportunity too good to miss.

“The chance to practically apply what I’m learning in my own neighbourhood makes the University of Canterbury invaluable for anyone studying in the sciences.”

Definitely the opportunities for field studies through Geography have made the choice worth it, getting Ed to some exciting locations that he “wouldn’t have been able to otherwise” around the South Island.

“A chance to study the natural processes of the Southern Alps and making maps out at a field station one week, then looking at what makes humans do what they do and why in the central city the next? The rich diversity of the course really compliments what makes me tick.

“The Cass Field Station especially is something pretty special in itself, and dragging remote sensing gear on the hills around it during the day was well worth it for the luxury the field station would offer each night!”

Outside of study, Ed also spends most of his spare time exploring the region.

“Getting outdoors in a big one for me and the city’s location makes it perfect for weekend missions out to the alps or to the coast. Where else can you be above the snowline in the morning and in the surf after lunch?” he says.

A large part of Ed’s love for the local community is his Events Manager role in the Student Volunteer Army (SVA). Organising events all around Christchurch for over 2,000 students has been a huge highlight of his time at UC.

“The SVA has managed to burst back into life on campus and Christchurch even stronger this year and being the biggest club has made our every event one of national significance for the media. It makes the stakes higher to do everything right, and also to be organised with the pressures of study - but the challenge definitely makes my university experience more worthwhile!”

Ed’s experiences with both the academic and social side of uni has given him a lot of opportunities, and certainly he looks back on his time here so far as incredibly rewarding.

“Elements of the student life like the huge clubs scene have made my years here the most exciting and fun that I’ve ever had. This campus really does allow you to work hard with an abundance of awesome libraries to go and get the classwork done, and play even harder with big events every week that never grow old!”

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