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Student story

Verity Brogden

20 July 2023

"University gives you a chance to become your most authentic self..."


Studying towards a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Relations, and Spanish

Ambassador, KidsCan


What drew you to study Political Science?

I want to use my degree to make a difference in people’s everyday lives, so I decided the best way to do that in Aotearoa is to become a politician.

And why UC to reach that goal?

UC has a really great Political Sciences programme as it is the only University in Aotearoa that is not just focused on political history; it is a science, which means we learn about current issues as well as historical. Civics Education is really important to learn so you can be an active member of society and make well-informed choices.

With my Political Science and International Relations studies, I learn both domestic and international politics as well as cultural competence in Aotearoa.

What cultural experiences did you get to have?

In my second year at UC, I took the CHCH101 course in which you go around the local community-led projects and volunteer, and in the second semester you get to do a group project which you plan and participate in. My group visited Ōnuku Marae in Akaroa to help with their garden project. It was really beautiful and we had the privilege to stay at the Marae and meet the tamariki while learning cultural competence.

You’re also a Residential Assistant with University Hall?

As an RA it is my role to look after first year residents at UC to give them the best experience while learning to navigate adulthood.

This year I am the Halls Communications Officer at Thursdays in Black UC. Our mission is to bring awareness and help prevent sexual and domestic violence to make UC a safer place for all. You can sign up by searching us on Facebook or Instagram and of course show your support by wearing black on Thursdays!

I have also worked closely with Ari the Rainbow Support Coordinator here at UC to help offer proper support to those within the halls, they have been essential as there are many students needing support at UC!

You seem to really enjoy devoting your time to helping others!

I love volunteering and helping others. I help at the Canterbury Refugee Resettlement and Resource Centre as well as being an ambassador for KidsCan. As I managed to break free from the poverty cycle and study at University, I have a unique perspective that not all students grow up with that I can use to empower our tamariki experiencing poverty to also break the cycle and receive support.  I went from being homeless and struggling to get each meal to participating in leadership roles and going to university, so I want to give back to the people who helped me get here!

What advice do you have for other students to make the most of their uni experience like you have?

My advice to future students would be to take every opportunity you get and to always be kind and openminded, University gives you a chance to become your most authentic self and meet like-minded people!

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