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Student story

William Qi Hau Yii

20 July 2023

"Life at UC and New Zealand has been an eye opening experience for me..."


Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting with a minor in Information Systems

Originally from Malaysia, William was encouraged by family and friends to pursue his higher education overseas. 

William chose New Zealand as he was drawn to the natural surroundings of the country, and the University’s high ranking. 

“The outdoors of New Zealand was what I was really attracted to. I have done my fair share of hiking and trekking back in Malaysia and would love to explore the terrains here.

“UC is an established educational institute well known for the quality education they provide along with a very active student body and alumni. I also had the chance to meet alumni of UC who told me stories of their time here.”

With the aim to be a chartered accountant, William set out to study the Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Accounting. 

“Both my parents are involved in business and have management and accounting backgrounds. I was encouraged by them to take up accounting which is a very versatile degree and opens up my options to different career pathways.”

He kicked off his foundation studies at UC International College for three months before progressing to UC.

“What I really liked about the College was that there wasn’t many students in each class. Lecturers were able to engage with the students and provide better academic support. I would recommend it to students wanting to build a solid understanding in their area of study before transitioning to university.”

William has found the Bachelor of Commerce to be an all-round degree providing him with a wide range of practical, work-ready skills.

“I enjoy the many group projects that is incorporated into the syllabus. It gives me a chance to meet new people and at the same time work in a team,” he says. “It enables the development of soft skills and promotes application of technical skills and further boosts understanding of theoretical knowledge.”

He advices future students, “Don”t be afraid to ask. The lecturers and support staff are more than happy and willing to help a student in need”.

William enjoys the diverse and energetic lifestyle at UC and Christchurch. 

“I personally enjoy how the lecturers and staff take part in club activities and show support to both the international and local students. It’s not often you get to see your lecturers up and about dancing and joking around!

“As an international student, life at UC and New Zealand has been an eye opening experience for me. There is actually a wide range of activities to do here both on campus and off campus. With the rebuild of Christchurch, the city is ever changing. There is always somewhere to go or something new to try.”

While at UC, William took every opportunity to get involved in the student community, to which he says he has gained invaluable skills and made many friends. 

During his first year, William flatted at Ilam Apartments which helped him ease into university life as a new student.

“It is definitely a good place to stay if you are new to Christchurch. There is a good mixture of nationalities staying there who will be facing the same struggles as you and it will be easy to relate and connect with people!” 

After spending the last three years as an active member of the Canterbury Malaysian Student Association (CMSA), William was appointed President of the club in 2018. 

“I really love how welcoming and encouraging the club was when I first joined, I made it a personal goal for myself to contribute back to the club and try my best to provide new members the same experience.”

During William’s tenure as President of the club, the Malaysian Student Association won two awards as the Best International Club and the Best Performance for Malam Malaysia, at the UCSA Supreme Club Awards. 

Despite the heavy workload of an Accounting degree and responsibilities as Club President, William aimed to keep a healthy balance between study and life outside of university.

“I was also active in UC’s Ultimate Frisbee Club (UCUC) and have played for the University team, competed at nationals, and organised a local tournament as well. I did a little bit of volunteering as well, and do try my best to go on road trips when I can to explore the country.” 

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