'The vibe here makes you feel like you belong since day one...'
Studying towards a Bachelor of Arts in Cinema Studies and Media and Communication, with a minor in Spanish
Born in Christchurch and raised in Kathmandu (Nepal) and Kalimpong (India), Arju’s career aspirations are to learn about and capture different cultures and current affairs around the globe through the film-making industry.
Taking on a double-major degree in Cinema Studies and Media and Communication has helped her develop her passion for film, and gain more insight into advertising and social media that goes alongside film production.
‘With an exponential growth of media in today’s world, an aspiring filmmaker like myself has to be aware of and know about the media aspect. For instance, promotions, approaching the target audience, and even learning the background analytics is so crucial for the film industry. Media industry and film industry do rely on each other.
‘I definitely believe what I have learnt at Uni is going to be extremely helpful,’ she says.
Arju has already had some experiences working in the industry, thanks to a COMS 207 course project with Volunteering Canterbury helping to establish and grow their social media, and participating in the annual 48Hours film challenge with a group of friends.
The biggest advantage of the Bachelor of Arts is the variety of courses and subjects to mix and match together, which Arju highly recommends after also picking up Spanish language studies.
‘I am trilingual (I speak English, Nepali, and Hindi), but being able to learn another language which is spoken by millions was something I really wanted to try. I really enjoyed learning Spanish so much that it became my minor. Initially, I was going to study only for three semesters, but have ended up taking it for more than two years, so thank you to the great teachers for not giving up on me and supporting and guiding me throughout.’
When it first came to choosing university studies, Arju decided to challenge and develop herself in a new environment, and saw a great opportunity to reconnect with New Zealand as her birthplace.
‘I like how life is really chill and slow paced in comparison to back in Kathmandu. People are super friendly and the diversity is felt. I have always had friends from Nepal and India but now I have friends from around the world.’
UC itself was her primary choice for its study options and lively community, while also being conveniently located for access to other amazing locations around New Zealand.
‘Growing up, I had always loved sports and travelling, and what other better place than UC where you can study, do sports, and travel!
‘The campus at UC is beautiful and just the vibe here makes you feel like you belong since day one. Everybody is so welcoming and friendly and I am so glad I chose UC, for this was the uni life I wished and dreamt of. The professors here are all so supportive and excellent in their respective areas.’
To help settle into the New Zealand lifestyle, Arju decided on staying in Kirkwood Avenue Hall accommodation for her first year.
‘Since everyone was new to the uni life and living in Christchurch, being in the same boat, it was really amazing to find such good friends to settle in and discover this new life and place together. Everyone was new to living in Christchurch and university so that made everyone look out for one another and settle in together. I wanted to make friends with Kiwis as well as international students and I knew UC was all about global diversity, so I definitely made the right choice. If I had not stayed in a hall of residence I would not have gotten the full experience.’
She later moved into Hayashi to continue living in a supportive community with other students.
‘When I first moved into Hayashi, I was smiling widely. The living space, the kitchen, the dining, everything was so spacious, and nice! One of the best thing about Hayashi is that it is fully furnished and has everything you need in a flat. The first floor is our communal area, and our bedrooms which are well furnished are in the second floor. This my second year living here and I really love it here.’
Life on campus has helped her get involved with all sorts of events to meet other student residents, and to discover new hobbies, such as skateboarding.
‘It has been great getting to know my flatmates, making new friends, and attending all the amazing activities and events that are organised by UC Accommodation! The Uni has many students coming from different backgrounds and experiences, so it is interesting to learn about more cultures. I am glad to be staying in a place where people respect and want to know more about my culture, and vice versa.
‘My house in Nepal always felt like “HOME” to me. Coming here, I realised home is a “feeling” rather than a place, which I thankfully received from my Hayashi flat,’ she says. ‘New Zealand is truly mesmerising. I am really loving it here.’