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Student story

Laura Schnelle

20 July 2023

"I am in class with people from all over the world every day..."


Study Abroad student

Certificate of Proficiency Arts

Having a previously established love of New Zealand, together with the desire to expand her travels throughout the South Island, it was a natural decision for Laura to choose UC as her study abroad destination.

"Christchurch is so central in the South Island, in a matter of a couple of hours you can travel and discover so many different places. I have previously travelled in the North Island, but was always keen to explore the South. There is always more to see!"

Back home at Otto-von-Guericke University in Magdeburg, Germany, Laura majors in Education and has future plans of becoming a health educator, something that inspired her decision to take specialised Health Education papers during her time at UC.

"I wanted more in-depth courses in the study of Education, particularly health, as this is not a large part of my studies back home. When I saw all the options that are offered by UC in Health Education I knew that this was something I was definitely interested in.

"After taking these courses at UC it has got me thinking about the different areas of Health Education and what other options there are out there for my career."

Laura's involvement in various clubs at UC is a strong testament to her passion for all things health and fitness related, and she found that combining her hobbies with the social aspect of UC to be a great way to meet new people.

"I am involved in the Health Society on campus, they held a health quiz at the beginning of the year and my team of international students came second, which was pretty cool.

"I have also been a part of the 'Run Canterbury' club, which I will admit has been a personal challenge for me. Together we have been training for the upcoming Christchurch Marathon where I will be running in the 10km event!"

A valuable experience for getting a taste of New Zealand culture and experience was Laura's connection with club 'Operation Friendship'.

"This involves Kiwi families inviting international students into their homes for traditional Kiwi meals, as well as other activities around the city. We did the Cave Stream walk together, which was a fun way of getting out of the city with a group to explore somewhere new."

Aside from her experiences that she has had during her time at UC, it is also the people that have been such a significant part of Laura"s time abroad.

"Everyone is so laid back and easy going and I love this about New Zealand. You really get to know lecturers on a personal level and develop a connection with them.

"Through being involved with a lot of different activities and meeting people with different opinions and backgrounds, I've discovered how diverse UC is. I am in class with people from all over the world every day, and it makes for interesting discussions and really broadens your horizons and gets you thinking about new ideas."

Laura's study abroad experience at UC is one that she would recommend to anyone and considers her time in New Zealand as an investment in her future.

"Studying abroad takes some adapting, but knowing that you can make friends all over the world and find places that you can call home anywhere is such a valuable skill that I have developed through my travels and studying away from my home in Germany.

"Although it may seem daunting in the beginning, I can definitely say that it is all worth it. It really gives you back such a valuable life changing experience."

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