'I enjoy the process of learning about different art practices...'
Monica was keen to follow her passion for art at UC and further her studies, after completing a Bachelor of Urban Planning back home at the North China University of Technology.
‘I worked as Commercial Planner in a Real Estate company for six years before I came to New Zealand to pursue my lifelong passion and interest in art. I believe that if someone has a gift and they are not using it, this can be seen as a crime.
‘UC was recommended to me because of its high reputation, and the Fine Arts degree had a range of subjects that interested me. I enjoy the process of learning about different art practices because each one has a different approach that enriches my experiences.’
Monica’s return to study has been a positive one and she has found settling into a new environment at UC an enjoyable experience.
‘I attended the International Orientation at the beginning of my UC life where I received a big welcoming from the UC students, the international department and staff on campus. I was introduced to how to succeed at UC, where I can ask for help as an international student, and I have started to make friends and join various clubs since then.
‘I love the atmosphere at UC. UC has a rich study environment, everyone on campus is friendly, including students, lecturers and staff. I especially like the way of teaching here, every lecturer I have met is wonderful, they are good at inspiring and encouraging students to explore different areas of interest.’
Monica has enjoyed the opportunities outside of the classroom that have been on offer to her in the Fine Arts degree.
‘I had several field trips in this semester, during these I visited four art galleries, one artist’s studio and the Rehua Marae. I learnt a lot during these field trips and I would highly recommend them to other Fine Arts students.’
Despite admitting that at the beginning of her time at UC she had ‘no clue how to write an Art History paper’, Monica feels that she has come a long way since then, with support from the Academic Skills Centre (ASC).
‘I went to the Academic Skills Centre a lot! English is my second language, and so writing is my biggest problem when it comes to studying at university. ASC helped me analyse the topic, structure the essay and check my grammar as well. As a result, I now have more confidence to write, and I can even get an A on my Art History essays!’
Monica found that joining various UC Clubs was a great way to get involved in campus life, and get together with other students with similar interests to her own.
‘I have joined two clubs during my time so far at UC, the UC Sketch Club (SKUB), and the UC Chinese Students and Scholars Society (UCCSSS). SKUB is the best art club at UC and they organise exhibitions, fundraisers and social events. Both clubs have enriched my study life in UC, and helped me gain a sense of participation. They made me feel like I am a part of the UC family.’
'I spend a lot of time making work, from printing and binding publications to creating animations...'
'Being able to apply these things in my everyday life is rewarding and makes it all worthwhile...'