Stephanie Lee Lynn-Huey
'Every bit of this degree will be so worth it at the end of the day...'
Stephanie’s studies have given her the rewarding experience of helping young children and adult clients improve their speech and swallowing abilities.
‘I really enjoy building new relationships and rapport with all my clients. It is always about improving their quality of life to make sure that the issues that they have acquired does not stop them from enjoying life to the fullest,’ she says.
After her first visit to New Zealand when she was seven, Stephanie leapt at the opportunity to return from Malaysia for university study.
Following her gap year experience volunteering at a centre for children with autism, Stephanie decided on the Speech and Language Pathology degree to make a career out of helping others.
‘During my time at the centre, I fell in love with how I was able to help the children make small changes in their life that would contribute and further develop their skills into future adulthood. I wanted a job that allowed me to give back to the community and made me feel that my time spent was all worthwhile. Every small improvement counts!’
To help prepare for her journey at university and in New Zealand, Stephanie began by taking courses through the UCIC programme for international students.
‘It was scary at first, but once you get into the routine it was much better. I would recommend it to other students as it helps you ease into university life later on.’
The Speech and Language Pathology degree involves both theoretical and practical work developing the skills to best help clients in their swallowing and speech difficulties, which Stephanie says was made easier with support from the Speech-Language community at UC.
‘The Department is so close knit and the lecturers have so much experience in the speech therapy field to share with the students. My degree is also very well structured because we get so much hands-on experience working in the field through clinical placements.
‘Every bit of this degree will be so worth it at the end of the day,’ she says.
Receiving support with her visa when first arriving, counselling from the UC Health Centre, and free group fitness classes at the UC Rec Centre were also a huge help for Stephanie in her transition to university studies. In her spare time, she was also a member of the Speech Society and Canterbury Malaysian Students’ Association.
‘The community in Christchurch is relatively small and very supportive in so many ways. I have formed my own Christchurch family here which I rely on for support. They are the people that makes Christchurch feels like home, enhancing my overall experience as an international student.’
Stephanie hopes to go onto a fulfilling career as a speech-language therapist, working with children and adults with communication or swallowing difficulties.