Category Archives: Health and Wellbeing

Financial assistance for international students: Manaaki Manuhiri

Visitor Care Manaaki Manuhiri is a financial assistance programme managed by the New Zealand Red Cross for the Department of Internal Affairs. It has been set up to help people on temporary visas in New Zealand who have been financially impacted by COVID-19.

Support provided can include assistance with rent and expenses (eg. electricity or gas bill), food vouchers, and warm clothing. The Red Cross reassures that applying for assistance through the programme will not affect people’s current or future visa status. However, at this stage the support is only available until the end of September 2020.

A set of eligibility criteria applies, including:

  • Must have a temporary visa that was valid on 23 March 2020
  • Must be in serious financial hardship (less than $1,100 left, not including any money set aside for flights back home).
  • Must have exhausted all other avenues for financial support first, including those available at the University of Canterbury

Please note: while information on the DIA checklist indicates that applicants must be ready and willing to return back to their home country as soon as flight options become available, international students in the middle of study are exempted from this requirement and do not need to seek a flight home before applying for this support.

An FAQ for international students has more information, while full eligibility criteria and the online application link can be found via the Red Cross website.

If you are unsure whether you would be eligible, the Red Cross strongly encourages people to contact them on 0800 RED CROSS (733 276 – option 1) or at

Wellbeing Check

With the mid-semester break and term four quickly approaching, it pays to focus even more so on our bodies and how we are feeling.

From keeping colds and flu at bay to meeting our daily sleep requirements, there are several ways to ensure that you take some time out to look after yourself.

Check out these tips for some ways you can look after your mental and physical health this winter:

  • Choose nutritious foods as much as possible
  • Wash your hands!
  • Be active
  • Let fresh air into your home and reduce dampness
  • Be mindful of safe heating options
  • Use Healthline, the UC Health Centre or your GPs services for advice.

For tips from the Ministry of Health click here.

The winter season in nature’s design is a time to slow down, especially with the mid-semester break approaching.

Here are some tips to stay well during the break:

  • Connect with those around you, the 5 ways to wellbeing emphasises the importance of connection ‘talk and listen, be there, feel connected’
  • Prioritise yourself and have a sleep in!
  • Get out in nature and be active around your environment
  • Rest, relax and have some me time
  • Fuel yourself with nutritious foods

Extra info:

Six tips on how to avoid skipping your exercise session

Does this sound familiar? It’s the end of a long day at uni, you’ve made it home, and suddenly the plans to exercise are looking sketchy at best! Take heart, you’re not alone – but before skipping a day becomes skipping a week or a month and all your wins are lost,  here are our top tips to stay on track.   

1. Drink a glass of water 

Often times, tiredness is caused by dehydration. Drinking a glass of water can help revive you enough to get your mojo back for a short bout of exercise. Whilst there is no universal amount of water that one should drink , drink enough throughout the day so that you don’t feel thirsty, but not so much that you’re in the toilet all day. 

2. Put some workout clothes on 

The simple act of changing into some workout clothes and shoes can  be motivating in itself. You’re halfway there right? Now all you need to do is…

3.  Run on the spot for 1min

Yep. 1min. That could be enough to get some happiness hormones like dopamine flowing. Yep, training can make you happy. Once you’ve started, you might even keep going, especially if you double down with…

4. Amping tunes 

It’s well known that exercise can improve physical performance, with good music enabling people to exercise longer and harder. Choose music you enjoy and the right pace for the activity you’re doing.   

5. Be kind to yourself 

Missing a workout isn’t the end of the world, but it sure can feel like it sometimes! Try not to linger on it, and instead start with the four tips above and get yourself moving again, even a 15min walk around the block counts! Who knows? It could be the start of something great! 

6. Bring in the professionals (and this is where we can help)

If these little tactics aren’t helping, it could be time to bring in the professionals! Signing up for a one-on-one session with a fitness pro can help you break plateaus, get  have some fun with exercise again and help reset good habits. Check out more reasons to get a trainer!

The RecCentre offers super prices on PushMe training, and right now we have an introductory offer for First-Time PushMe clients, so you can experience the value yourself. Students can buy one session for just $20 (usually $30), with absolutely no obligation to continue – but we reckon you’ll love it!   

Be well!

UC Rec&Sport