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Student story

Kelly Esther Chan Ling Ing

20 July 2023

"I am amazed at how people in this area continue to solve problems and invent new technology..."


Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Psychology

Software Developer, Lab3 Limited

When asked about her aspirations, Kelly says, "Learning is important to me and I have always admired the field of technology. It is always growing and provides a lot of career opportunities. I am amazed at how people in this area continue to solve problems and invent new technology".

Originally from Kuching, Malaysia, Kelly chose UC for its world-class recognition.

"UC is one of the top 3 universities in New Zealand and also ranks in the top 200 universities in the world for Computer Science and Psychology. They have a great campus with lots of modern facilities and a great support system," she says.

Initially planning to only study Computer Science, she was pleasantly surprised by the option to take on a second major.

"With UC's flexible Science degree, it also allows me to take electives. I chose to take Psychology and I enjoyed it in my first year, therefore I decided to have it as my second major.

"Computer Science was challenging but I liked that we learned how to tackle different problems. I got to learn new skills like programming in different languages. By learning Psychology, I got a better understanding of how the human mind works and I particularly enjoyed learning about personality psychology.

"With my degree, I wish to go into a career that relates to human-computer interaction or artificial intelligence."

As a high achiever, Kelly was awarded with the UC First Year International Scholarship. She says UC's Academic Support services had been a major support that enabled her study journey. 

"I have used their academic support services and had gotten help on selecting my courses from the Student Advisors. They helped me plan my pathway and showed me what courses to take to fit my subject requirements for each level."

Kelly particularly enjoyed the lively student atmosphere at UC and was an active member of the Canterbury Malaysian Student Association (CMSA) and the Student Volunteer Army (SVA).

"UC's club and societies are awesome. There are more than 100 student-run clubs. It's a great way to meet new people and gain new experience through their events," she says.

"CMSA's motto is to bring home closer for its members, and I definitely felt that through their events; and they would always serve delicious Malaysian food. I always looked forward to Malam Malaysia, our biggest annual event that showcases our members' talents through dancing, acting and singing. The main goal is also to spread our Malaysian culture to locals here and other international students. I have been part of the props team, backstage crew, and hospitality team over the past years.

"I also loved volunteering in SVA. I've participated in their big events like The Big Give and several of their biannual camps ever since I got to UC. For their camps, I loved that we got to travel outside of Christchurch and volunteer in different towns. I've been with them to Hokitika, Twizel, and Hanmer Springs. By volunteering it is a great way to gain new experience, meet new people and do good for the community."

As an international student, Kelly says her move to UC and Christchurch has helped to positively develop her character.

"I've grown a lot as a person since I got here," she says. "It is not hard to adapt, and I enjoy the freedom that I have here, and I get to be more independent. As an international student, I know it can be scary coming here all alone, and I was very fortunate that there's a large Malaysian community here. Life in New Zealand is about balancing working hard and the time you spend enjoying the outdoors."

During her first two years, Kelly flatted at Ilam Apartments which helped her ease into university life as a new student.

"Ilam Apartments was very convenient as it is really close to the University. Best of all, it helped me meet a lot of other students from all over the world. They also plan a lot of cool events and really show their support for students during the exam period by providing free breakfast and study suppers."

Kelly kept busy outside of her university routine hanging out with her friends and traveling around New Zealand.

"The perks of having other international friends is that I could learn more about their culture and their cuisines. When it's a long break I would plan to go on road trips and travel to different cities and enjoy the natural beauty that New Zealand has to offer."

Since graduating, Kelly has gained a role with Lab3, a software development company formed by UC graduates.

Inspired by her time with the Student Volunteer Army, Kelly also volunteers her weekends to working with the SPCA.

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