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Laura.

Law and Health Sciences.

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Laura's Story


When Laura isn't busy with her duties as the Vice President of the University of Canterbury Students Association, she is working with her organisation that arranges international volunteer trips to African countries. See more of her story below.

I am establishing an organisation for international volunteer trips. Each trip is made up of 30 students, over the year they fundraise and collectively the money raised will pay for the building of a structure at the end of the year.

UC has a unique culture. Getting involved in the clubs gives you a chance to push yourself and explore different areas. You get to meet and learn from people in years above you, which is something that’s really helped me grow.

Tell us about your community involvement at UC.

After receiving the Emerging Leaders’ scholarship I got onto their exec. This year I've been re-elected as Cultural and Social Coordinator. Previously I was the Rotary associate coordinator. Rotary does a lot of amazing community engagement projects which I get to pitch to students.

What inspired your area of study?

When I was in high school I did a three week internship in Uganda. Seeing how hard it was to get an education there made me really value our opportunities in New Zealand. So I decided to challenge myself as much as I could and enrolled in law. Ultimately I’d like to go into international relations.

Have you continued with your work in Uganda?

Yes, I still travel over there every year. I decided to partner with the local NGO that I worked for in Uganda, called Hopeline. Part of my role is to help other volunteers who are going over by talking them through what to expect.

Have you managed to dovetail that experience with your uni studies?

Yes, I can pick international papers for law so I’ve taken papers like International Human Rights. I got to write a Wikipedia page on child issues in Africa. It gave me a way better understanding of what goes on in the area I work in over there.

And you've won the Start-up Scholarship – what's your plan with that?

I am establishing an organisation for international volunteer trips. Each trip is made up of 30 students, over the year they fundraise and collectively the money raised will pay for the building of a structure at the end of the year. The students will work along side local builders in Uganda or Tanzania to build a school, medical center or orphanage for a local NGO. It’s great getting paid to work full time on your own business venture!

It sounds like you’ve been able to follow your passion.

UC Enterprise has so much support and encouragement for this kind of thing. Plus getting involved in the clubs gives you great experience too. I’ve been on the UCSA exec and in 2018 I got elected to vice-president. It’s going to be an awesome year!

How has UC helped you grow?

UC has a unique culture. Getting involved in the clubs gives you a chance to push yourself and explore different areas. You get to meet and learn from people in years above you, which is something that’s really helped me grow.

What does UC mean to you?

UC has given me a fresh opportunity to create a future for myself. You can become the person that you really want to be.