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Student story

Olivia Scott Dahrouge

20 July 2023

"Everyone is just so nice and genuine, I feel that people really want you to succeed..."


Foundation Studies Certificate

Originally from Berkeley California in the USA, Olivia's previous experience as an Au Pair in Christchurch inspired her to come back for university studies at UC.

"I just fell in love with it," she says. "I've never felt more at home than I do in Christchurch. I realised my best bet was going to school here, and I wanted to get back into school anyway."

Olivia decided on living at one of UC's halls of residence, as a way to be close to campus and be amongst a student community.

"I'm a bit older and liked the option to cook for myself or have a meal plan," she says. "A highlight is my friends, definitely. I love meeting people and being social. Everyone is just so nice and genuine, I feel that people really want you to succeed."

Currently, Olivia is completing some Arts courses with  UC International College (UCIC) to transition into university study. After completing her programme, Olivia intends to study a Bachelor of Criminal Justice, discovering over the years that her interests involve decreasing incarceration rates.

"I want to work with kids whose parents are incarcerated, to show them they can go down a different path. I find it so fascinating to learn about different situations and motivations. As much as the situations sometimes break my heart, I just think about the possible reasons that they could have occurred."

She also enjoys looking after children in her spare time outside of UC, as well as rock climbing and rowing around Canterbury, and hanging out with friends for "a good yarn".

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