UCMe - Sophia, Science & Teaching, University of Canterbury, NZ
Sophia Lord

What have you enjoyed most about the UC experience?

I’ve loved the inclusive atmosphere. You can talk to anyone in your lectures or labs, which makes it easy to make friends. There’s a huge range of clubs and other ways to get involved too, like the Student Volunteer Army or mentoring. It’s really rewarding to give back and help others succeed.

Sounds great! And what have you enjoyed most about your studies?

In Geography it’s been the combination of incredibly passionate lecturers and the hands-on nature of the labs and field trips. In Psychology I’ve really enjoyed learning about research process.

Favourite field trip?

Going up to Cass Station up in Arthur’s Pass for three days. We had to do three different tasks – predict the weather, map a riverbed and analyse the glacial history of the area. It was really cool because you could see how the material we learn in lectures gets applied in the field.

Have you felt supported on a personal level at UC?

Definitely. I went through a difficult time in my second year so I went to see the people at the Student Care Centre. They reached out to my lecturers for me and organised extensions for my assignments. Their support saved me from failing any papers and they made me feel comfortable and cared for. It was a really good experience.

What has UC unlocked for you?

A sense of self belief. I’m much more confident in my abilities now. When I came to uni I had no intention of doing postgrad, but now I’m looking forward to getting my Masters of Teaching and Learning so I can give back the knowledge I’ve learned.

"Ōtautahi Christchurch is the best, especially for Geography students. Everything can be found here – beaches, hills, mountains."

Are you pleased you chose to come to UC?

Definitely. Ōtautahi Christchurch is the best, especially for Geography students. Everything can be found here - beaches, hills, mountains. And UC is such a caring university. My lecturers and course coordinators were so supportive during the coronavirus lockdowns. They helped me finish my courses and maintain my mental health. There’s a very personal feel at UC.

What’s the secret to a great UC experience?

Most people probably say ‘give everything a go’, but I’d say, ‘don’t put too much pressure on yourself’. Find joy in your papers and your co-curricular activities. And if you’re not enjoying something, then change it!