Contessa who made the move to UC from her native Singapore was one of 14 UC students to spend five weeks at Mahidol University in 2016. This saw her undertake an internship teaching English at Mahidol, one of the top universities in Thailand.
Tell us about your experience in Thailand.
Fourteen of us travelled over to Mahidol University and I was one of five who interned with its Faculty of Liberal Arts. We were there to see how the English language is taught. During the week we’d work at the university, helping students improve their English. On the weekends we’d go off and discover the provinces. We got to visit an elephant sanctuary. It was amazing. The internship really broadened my worldview. It taught me a lot about myself and how to get along with others.
It sounds like a fantastic opportunity.
My dream is to become a travel writer so gaining that confidence in diverse situations has been really valuable. And the fact it was all an accredited part of my course just adds to the experience.
What do you like about UC more generally?
The campus is beautiful, from the flowers in spring to the changing colours in Autumn. And the weather is perfect, cool and nice.
The campus has everything I need – bookshops, cafés, lots of places to eat and gather with your friends. It’s safe and easy to get around. You can walk everywhere. And if you do get lost, you just ask!
What’s it like socially?
It’s easy to start chatting to whoever’s next to you in class. You can meet people through the many clubs. And at Ilam where I live, there are people everywhere. They host lots of dinners and social events. There’s a great sense of community – it’s like a home away from home.
Anything else you would like to add?
Compared to Singapore, Christchurch has such a relaxed feel. And academically you don’t feel as stressed. Here, you’re encouraged to do your own thinking and learn at your own pace. If you have problems, you just ask your professors and they help you out.
Coming to UC has been my best decision ever!