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Student story

Wei Chen Lai

07 December 2023

Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting, with a minor in Information Systems


Why did you choose to come to UC? 

My university in Malaysia offers a pathway programme with UC, and I chose to come here to explore a new culture and country, meet new friends, and step out of my comfort zone and experience something new.

What is the education at UC like? 

We’re encouraged to use critical thinking and apply real-life examples so we can immerse in real-world business scenarios. They teach us the latest knowledge, and provide the skills for a successful career. The tutorial is discussion-based and interactive, we share and speak with others. It’s non-judgemental, which creates a safe zone to share.

How do you find the academic staff at UC? 

The lecturers are very helpful, especially when you need to adapt to the different style of coursework. They explain things in depth to make sure I fully understand. And they’re quite flexible and encouraging. They engage with us, ask questions, and talk to us about our opinions. 

How was your transition from your pathway to UC? 

The UC Business School Internationalisation Team helped me from the very beginning. They provided a lot of support with things like how to enrol and how to pay fees. They also helped with all my questions about settling into New Zealand, like the weather and how to find housing. 

Are there any support programmes or initiatives that you found particularly helpful? 

The Tūhono programme is great. It helped me meet a lot of new friends from different countries. We share our own cultures and learn about others’ cultures. It taught me a lot and helped me adapt to the culture here more easily. 

What do you like most about life at UC?

I love how UC puts a lot of effort into putting on lots of events. The Commerce Society holds a case competition doing a real-life case study, and my team got first place. It’s very valuable to immerse yourself in real-life situations. I even became friends with my teammates. 

How do you find life in Christchurch and New Zealand? 

Christchurch is very chill and offers a lot of outdoor activity. New Zealand scenery is next level; so far it’s the best I’ve ever seen. And the people here are so friendly and easy to get along with. 

 What campus facilities do you enjoy using most? 

UC provides students with free access to the gym, which is well equipped and maintained, so that’s a great benefit. I go often and use the machines. Usually, in Malaysia, it’s not free and the gyms aren’t that great, so I really enjoy taking advantage of UC’s fitness centre. 

What benefits does your part-time work provide? 

I’m currently working as a casual pharmacist assistant. Besides the money, I get to meet a lot of awesome people and share experiences. Working here definitely helped me adapt to the culture and society here more easily. It also taught me to manage my time well. 

Would you recommend UC to other international students?

Yes, I would. New Zealand is a friendly country towards international students, and UC provides a lot of support. With all the societies and clubs there are chances to have a taste of home, and you don’t feel alone. People here are friendly and open to different cultures. 

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