Felix Mendonca

AMPLIFY

Felix Engineering

Favourite part of your degree?

I love how hands-on it’s been. I’ve worked with a range of people and firms around town. The labs are very practical too – the bridge building project has definitely been a highlight!

How did your bridge go?

It was a lot harder than we expected, but the challenge was half the fun. Six of us built a suspension arch bridge. Then we had to move it across campus which was tricky. It worked pretty well though. It was cool to see the theoretical calculations we learn in lectures come to life.

You’re from Wellington, how are you finding Ōtautahi Christchurch life?

I’m really enjoying it, especially the weather! The UC campus and flatting suburbs create a really tight-knit community. All my friends and classes are within walking distance and the rent is affordable. I feel really lucky to be here.

Tell us about what you’ve been up to with TuneSoc.

TuneSoc is UC’s music club. We bring live music to the uni as well as promote student bands and music through things like Battle of the Bands, jam nights and tutoring. I’ve helped organise events and this year I’m vice president.

You’ve started your own band too?

Yes, I’m part of an alt-rock band called Marsha. We won Battle of the Bands twice and have played gigs in Ōtautahi Christchurch and Wellington, with plans to play in Auckland this year. I’ve also started a touring company to try and get local bands more exposure out of Ōtautahi Christchurch.

"The UC campus and flatting suburbs create a really tight-knit community. All my friends and classes are within walking distance and the rent is affordable."

Where have UC’s international opportunities taken you?

I was fortunate enough to go to Beijing as part of PACE295. We spent six weeks studying language and culture at Peking University. It was really cool to experience day-to-day life as a student in China.

Most unexpected thing about China?

How small it seemed. I thought I’d be totally overwhelmed, but after a few days you realise how easy it is to get around and communicate with locals – even if it’s through some crazy charades! Being out of your depth is a great way to learn a lot very quickly.

#1 tip for UC newbies?

Get involved. There’s so much to do if you know where to look. Check the posters and pinboards, go to UCSA, talk to people. I had the usual jitters when I came, but getting involved in the UC community has made all the difference for me.