'As an international student, I’ve found that life here is much more stable and more peaceful...'
Studying towards a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry
It was Yuanita’s dream to pursue a career in the food and cosmetic industry that led her to study Biochemistry at UC.
‘I wanted to study Biochemistry because I find it interesting and it explains how life works. UC is a well-known university in New Zealand and offers a prominent Science degree,’ she says.
Originally from Indonesia, Yuanita choose to study in New Zealand to open doors towards new opportunities.
‘I believe that New Zealand gives equal chance to people, both locals and international students. On top of that, it is one of the safest places in the world, and life in New Zealand is environmentally and socially peaceful. What’s more, New Zealand offers some amazing sceneries that you can’t experience anywhere else in the world!
‘Coming from such a big city in Indonesia, being here in New Zealand has been a life-changing experience, as I get to see what else the world has to offer. As an international student, I’ve found that life here is much more stable and more peaceful, in a way that there is less social pressure.’
Yuanita began her study journey at the UC International College (UCIC), the pathway provider for the University of Canterbury.
At the College she was an active member of the community as a UCIC Buddy – to help and mentor other international students settle in.
After a year at UCIC she successfully transferred to UC to pursue the Bachelor of Science, and was awarded the UC International First Year scholarship.
Yuanita advises future students, ‘nothing comes easy, so as long as you put a lot of effort and hard work in, then those will be paid off. Time management is also the key that will help to succeed in university life, as the amount of works given is a lot. So balancing social life and uni work is really important’.
Yuanita says that UC’s support services has helped her thrive in her studies.
‘I enjoy studying at UC because of the various facilities that it provides. For example, the library where I can enjoy studying there and find any kind of sources that might aid my studies. There is also the UC Rec Centre, where I can go anytime when I feel a bit stressed out because of the busy schedule at uni. The Academic Skills Centre helps me with the proofreading of my lab reports and assignments.’
Outside of her study routine, Yuanita makes it a point to socialise with other students through participating in clubs and events at UC.
‘I have been involved with the University of Canterbury Global Society, and the Canterbury Malaysian Student Association. I’ve joined many of their social events including Quiz night, the Ying Yang Ball, and the Malam Malaysia event, all of these occasions have definitely helped me meet new friends from around the world!’
Outside her university duties, Yuanita has been open to exploring part-time work opportunities in Christchurch.
‘I did part time jobs at the UCIC office and at a clothing store at Riccarton Mall – Seed Heritage. Working part-time has helped stabilise my uni life, as dwelling in assignments can get pretty stressful; so by doing a part-time job, I find it therapeutic. It also exposes me to working life and teaches me new skills.’
When she started at UC, Yuanita opted to live in university accommodation, later moving to private flatting with friends.
‘I found flatting a good experience as having flatmates in the house really helped me settle in well. It’s also really fun and it helps understand what it is like to live with others in a shared house.’
After completing her degree, Yuanita intends to move onto higher studies by undertaking a master’s degree in Biochemistry.