'There are a lot of courses very unique to the area and those have been really fun to take...'
Study Abroad student
Certificate of Proficiency Science
Originally from Grand Haven, Michigan, USA, and a student from Purdue University, Indiana, Sarah travelled a long way to spend a semester at UC on the Study Abroad programme.
‘Purdue offers two options of universities in New Zealand,’ she says. ‘I love to be outside hiking and doing adventures and things, so the South Island seemed to be a better choice for me. UC also had the strong biology courses I needed.’
Sarah’s interest in science stems from having parents who are both veterinarians, and she plans to become a doctor herself. Now graduated from her home university, Sarah will soon begin attending medical school at Michigan State University to pursue her goal.
‘I have always been around the medical world, and I have always loved learning about the human body. Just after finishing high school, I witnessed a tragic car accident and helped to keep some of the victims alive until help came. This really encouraged me to pursue a degree in biology, and then medicine, so that I can help others. I would love to become a paediatric surgeon eventually.’
Sarah enjoyed her UC studies, and the change of pace. As well as her biology courses, she also took CHCH 101 Strengthening Communities through Social Innovation and MAOR 107 Aotearoa: Introduction to Traditional Māori Society.
‘I like that the courses seem to be a lot more laid back than they are in the States. There are a lot of courses very unique to the area and those have been really fun to take.’
A typical Christchurch day for Sarah involved running, going to class, hanging out with friends and planning her next trip.
‘I travelled somewhere new every weekend. It takes a lot of planning, but it is all so worth it in the end. I have been on a lot of tramps around the South Island and the scenery is amazing – unbelievable.’
Sarah found it easy to settle into the student lifestyle at UC. ‘I loved being an international student there! I lived at UC’s Ilam Apartments, which I loved because I got space to myself but everybody is so close. We were close to each other and to campus.’
She strongly recommends her Study Abroad experience to others, saying: ‘I have met so many people I would never have had the privilege to meet had I not gone. I think I developed a sense of independence I didn’t have before. Both of these things have benefitted me at home.
‘So I would say to other students, if you don’t do anything else in your college career you should study abroad.’