Christy Finney

'I truly did love the student life and the myriad of opportunities...'

  • Christy Finney

Study Abroad student

Certificate of Proficiency Science

Studying Kinesiology and Athletic training at Miami University in the USA, Christy looked forward to the possibility of studying overseas for a semester in a location that offered sporting and active opportunities.

‘I choose New Zealand to study because it has always been a desired destination and for the vast opportunity of travel and study it has. I love the mountains and beaches and within an hour drive you can have both. It is a country of adventure and I found that to be true for myself.’

Situated in a prime location for travelling the length of New Zealand, UC was the perfect choice for Christy to get involved in as much as possible during her time here.

‘I wanted to study in Christchurch to be a part of the earthquake recovery community and to be on the South Island,’ she says. ‘After doing some research it appeared that UC had tons of opportunity not only for education but to broaden their students’ experiences with clubs, educational support, and other community service organisations.’

Studying Statistics, Psychology and Sociology courses at UC she believes will be a big help towards her studies at home, and her career goals of becoming a physiotherapist and opening a health and wellness studio.

‘I think the academic system and these courses were excellent. In all three the professors went out of their way to make sure their students had all the resources they needed to get the most of their education and went beyond their duty to help. They had insight on material beyond a text book, both real world and through research and added to my passion for education as well.

‘I shadowed a physiotherapist and learned heaps about the differences in US and NZ practice as well as furthered my experience and knowledge about the profession in general.’

Christy says her favourite course in particular was SOCI 243.

‘Sociology of Health and Medicine covered areas of the health field in New Zealand I was unfamiliar with and gave me an insight on what medical care could be and what it is. It was a class that gave room for opinion and critical thinking and involved real world impact as well with a couple of assignments both in my life and directly with legislation of the disabled community at UC.’

It was this same passion for health and care that she applied to her involvement outside of the classroom with volunteer efforts.

‘I was very involved with Equippers, serving and becoming a part of their family. I met some of the most amazing people, travelled some incredible places, both near and far with them, and had life changing moments with them simply through their encouragement, challenges, and prayer. I also was a part of a recreational soccer team, and the SVA where we helped the community in Christchurch as well as others such as with the link pathway in Marlborough Sounds.

‘I truly did love the student life and the myriad of opportunities there was to get involved and how people truly did get involved. People were keen to hang out on campus or to simply join a club or help out!’

Her involvement in the student community gave her a lot of unique memories that she would not have experienced back home in the USA.

‘I have TONS of memorable moments, but I would have to say one that is up there is the second week of my NZ experience,’ she says. ‘Me and six of my new friends went on a tramp, got lost in the dark, a storm came, and we had no choice but to fit in a two person tent for the night… it was one of the most rewarding, bonding, hilarious experiences of my life, no matter how miserable it also was.’

As such, Christy advises future study abroad students to ‘dive all in’ to experience everything on offer.

‘Don’t hesitate about what to sign up for or try or be nervous about making friends. Just jump all in, talk to people you wouldn’t normally, do something you never have dreamed of. And soak every moment up. Make connections with Kiwis and the land around you. You are blessed to be in such a beautiful place, take advantage of that, but don’t forget to give back too.’

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