Birgit van Huijgevoort

'What I enjoy most about the homestay experience is the fact that you experience normal life in New Zealand.'

Birgit van Huijgevoort, student profile

Master’s Student, Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands

Research Assistant/Intern, University of Canterbury Department of Mechanical Engineering

Birgit is from Eindhoven in the south of The Netherlands and studies at Eindhoven University of Technology.

She had always wanted to visit New Zealand, so when one of her professors suggested some contacts at UC, she took the opportunity for three months on an internship as a Research Assistant.

‘I am working in the Mechanical Department with a snake robot. The first step was tracking the center of the snake robot using a camera, and at the moment I am expanding it to track all of the joints. The main goal of my project will be to optimise the controller for the snake robot.’

Birgit felt that a homestay with a family was a more convenient way to experience the culture of New Zealand.

‘What I enjoy most about the homestay experience is the fact that you experience normal life in New Zealand. Besides that, it is fun to live with Kiwi people, since it is very different compared to my student life in The Netherlands.’

She appreciates spending time with her host family walking the dogs, watching movies and taking meals together.

Birgit also chose a homestay so that she could focus on her internship and study in the evenings with more privacy but ‘would advise students considering a homestay to look first into the different possibilities of living in Christchurch and choose the option that suits them best.’

Outside of her research role, Birgit likes birdwatching and traveling, and at the weekend, enjoys walking and cycling trips. She is planning a longer trip with her boyfriend and family around New Zealand after she finishes her time at UC.

‘When I get back to The Netherlands, I will start my graduation project, which is the final part of my master’s.’