'I'm glad UC keeps its own identity and its traditions, while being open to other cultures...'
Graduate Diploma in Arts in Cinema Studies
Coming from a business-orientated background, French national Florence is hoping to broaden her career opportunities by taking a Arts-based qualification.
'I've always had an artistic sense, but it was crushed in the oil industry, smothered in the automotive sector, and frustrated in the luxury sector. I have decided to give free reign to my passion. I guess it's never too late to use one's talent.
'I hope that by mixing the creativity gained through Cinema Studies with my previous experience, I can hopefully join an advertising or PR agency.'
First, though, Florence's priorities are to settle into her new country and her new life while she expects her first baby.
'I have spent my whole life travelling or living abroad. At this stage, I'm looking for roots. Being part of an institution, a family, and a country is what really motivates me. I love the Kiwi way of life, and I'm glad UC keeps its own identity and its traditions, while being open to other cultures.'
The challenge of studying cinema has been exciting for Florence, who is focusing on documentaries, feminism, the New Wave movement and the adaptation of novels.
'Studying cinema does not mean going to the cinema — unfortunately!' she says. 'There's a lot of work, complex readings and theories to digest, intricate social and ideological contexts one must take into account in order to fully understand a director; and of course, multiple cinematographic techniques which are not decorative.'
She has been particularly impressed with the teaching at UC.
'I have outstanding lecturers — Dr Mary Wiles, Dr Alan Wright, Dr Peter Low, to name a few — who are brilliant, sharp and thought-provoking.
'I enjoy the fact that, despite being severely hit by the Canterbury earthquakes, the University has proudly moved on, and keeps on progressing. Even though we are very numerous, it's possible to create friendly and close contacts, not only with students. I would like to pay tribute to the lovely ladies at the copy centre, the pharmacy and Café Alibi in the Law building.'
In fact, Florence's decision to study at UC came down to the sense of personal contact she felt when researching her options.
'When I enquired about theatre or cinema studies in New Zealand, I received the warmest welcome and kindest help from UC. People are flexible here, and they don't hide behind procedures and rules. To me, human relations are essential, and I don't regret my choice.'