Wananga landing Wananga landing
Student story

Momoka Hara

02 August 2023

"I am proud to say that I’m a UC graduate…"


Certificate of Proficiency Preparatory

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Human Services

Master of Health Sciences Professional Practice endorsed in Nursing

Registered Nurse, Timaru

"People with completely different culture, language, beliefs, ethnicity, and sexuality come together and study. I loved seeing how students brought different perspectives to the discussion and challenged and expanded my knowledge," Momoka says about her journey with UC.

Momoka first came to New Zealand for a month while she was still in high school to visit her brother, who was studying at Ashburton College.

"I loved every experience," she says. "The pace of living was a lot slower compared to how hectic it can be in Japan. I also liked the individualistic culture that has shaped the education system and lifestyle very differently from those in Japan. So I decided to come back and study in the Canterbury region."

At first, Momoka didn’t feel confident enough with her English skills to start at UC right away. So she chose to go through a six-month programme offered by Christchurch College of English (CCEL).

"I took a course called English for Academic Purposes (EAP) Pathway to UC. This course allowed me to enter UC’s transition programme (Certificate of Proficiency Preparatory), which has hugely helped me in preparing for the level of academic skills expected in undergraduate degrees."

From the start, Momoka says she felt welcomed as an international student at UC.

"The environment and facilities available for students are all excellent. The lectures were all very interesting and inspiring, especially the Psychology classes since it has always been my passion," she says.

When Momoka wasn’t studying she explored many of UC’s clubs, which offered her opportunities to make new friends through sports, games, and language or cultural exchange.

"I was part of UC Merlion Singapore Society Club for about four years. I also used to go to dancing lessons offered by UCanDance Club. Both helped me develop my social network and connections with other students. Having good friendships has definitely made my student life a better one.

"My favourite thing about UC is that I can always find a perfect place to study, have lunch, relax, and catch up with friends.  I’ve also developed a sense of belonging to UC overtime, and am proud to say that I’m a UC graduate."

Following her degree in Psychology and Human Services, Momoka was inspired to go onto postgraduate Health Sciences studies for clinical practice.

"The biggest strength of this course is that it is a combined programme with the Bachelor of Nursing offered at Ara Institute of Canterbury. It allows students to gain two qualifications in two years. The students can then apply for State Final Exams to become registered as a nurse at the end of the programme. I am now working as a registered nurse in a private surgical hospital in Timaru.

"I hope to play an important role in the healthcare team to support and facilitate patient care and recovery."

More student stories
Privacy Preferences

By clicking "Accept All Cookies", you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyse site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.