Category Archives: Student life

Everything student life – from halls and flatting to recipes, advice, reviews, fashion and travel.

Life at UC – getting ready to live in a hall of residence

Getting ready for life in a hall of residence? It’s natural to feel nervous, apprehensive and excited all at the same time when you first arrive at your hall of residence (hall).  You’ll find it easier to settle in when you realise you are not alone and meet others with similar interests to yourself.  Make an effort to start up a conversation with someone – it could lead to a lifelong friendship. 

Here are some suggestions which will help you prepare for your arrival, and for settling into your new home.

Before you arrive

  • Plan to arrive on your contract start date. Let your hall know when you are arriving, particularly if you are arriving before or after your contract start date.
  • Check the information provided by your hall on what you need to bring with you and let them know if you are bringing any large items such as a bike or surfboard. Car parking should also be booked before you arrive, if required. Car parking in halls is limited, so get in early.
  • Your Residential Assistant or Tutor may/will contact you prior to arrival. Jot down any questions you want to ask before you arrive.
  • Join your hall Facebook group. You can learn a lot about other students who will be in your hall before you even arrive.

When you arrive

  • Your hall will have activities and events planned for when you first arrive. Look out for communication from your hall and plan to attend as many as you can – get involved.
  • Join the UCSA Facebook Group to find out what is happening during Orientation Week.
  • Make sure you know your 8-digit student ID number. This will come in handy when you arrive in your hall and at UC.

New Zealander of the Year Awards

Our Thursday’s in Black President Kaitlyn White has just been recognised by the Kiwibank Local Hero award as someone who’s selflessness and determination has made a difference in the community.

It provides a special opportunity to all New Zealanders, who have witnessed or experienced the contributions made by this years medal recipients, to say thank you for doing what you do to make our communities better.

Kaitlyn, currently a fifth year student studying Law and Commerce, we  caught up with her to ask more about what has inspired her to get involved with Thursday’s is black:

How did you get inspired to get involved with Thursday’s in Black as well as the UCSA?

I set up the Thursdays in Black (TIB) movement on our campus in 2017 after hearing about the movement on some other campuses and recognising there was a need for TIB not just at UC but in our society.

Sexual violence is unfortunately everywhere in our society but due to a range of factors (moving away from home, first romantic experiences, young age) students are more likely to have experienced a form of sexual violence in their lives.

If we have conversations and run activities / campaigns about consent and what healthy relationships look like at an early stage, everyone can help combat sexual violence and make a positive change in society.

I think we’ve all got a role to play in spreading consent culture in our communities. 

What has been your favourite moment this year?

That’s a hard one to choose! A recent favourite moment was when Thursdays in Black managed to host Jan Logie MP, the Parliamentary Undersecretary on sexual and domestic violence for a speaker series event with UCPols.

The room was packed with people and it was great to see so many students give up their afternoon to hear about her work and to ask what they can do to help solve these issues.

I also noticed that a few people stuck around to have a quiet word with Jan to get advice on situations regarding friends or family, so I’m glad that was able to happen and that she could give advice due to her role at Parliament and previous experience working at Women’s Refuge.

Do you have plans for next year?

I’ve got an internship at the US Congress in Washington DC over summer through an opportunity offered by the School of Law.  In March, I’m starting as a law clerk at Buddle Findlay in Christchurch


The regional judging for Kiwibank Local Hero medal recipients has been announced and Ngāi Tahu Research Centre at UC director Associate Professor Te Maire Tau and UCArts Political Scientist Associate Professor Bronwyn Hayward for winning Local Hero medals in the Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Awards, as well as UC student, UCSA returning officer and president of the  club Thursdays in Black Kaitlyn White.

There are 16 regional presentation ceremonies across New Zealand between mid-November and mid-December.




The Great Kiwi Bake Off – Engineer student Larissa Wilson

Mechanical engineering student, Larissa, is a passionate baker, fuelled by her interest in the science of baking, Larissa learnt to bake from her mum but decided to go solo at a young age, baking muffins while her mum took a nap.  The least experienced baker to enter the tent, Larissa is not a stranger to a few kitchen calamities.  

Why did you apply for The Great Kiwi Bake Off?

The Great British Bake Off is one of my favourite television shows and lately I had dreamed of moving to Britain and applying for it.  When a Kiwi version came along I was so excited – it was an opportunity I couldn’t ignore.   I never thought I’d actually gt on the show, but I knew I had to try.  I would love to turn baking into a part of my career (even though I’m nearly ¾ of the way through a mechanical engineering degree) so I had to jump at a chance to show NZ that I am capable of baking some pretty cool things.

How would you describe your baking style?

At home, I’d say I’m quite tidy and accurate, but as it turns out when I get in front of a camera I’m actually a little disastrous both at keeping tidy and at avoiding calamity.

What do you think are your strengths in the kitchen?

I think I’m good at recovering from disasters.  Which is an important skill to have if you’re also prone to having a lot of disasters.  I also think I’m good at not panicking too much if things aren’t going well.

What has been your biggest baking disaster?

I dropped a whole vegan ‘beef wellington’ on the floor last Christmas eve.  It slid right off the tray as I was getting it out of the oven.  It was meant to be my sisters Christmas lunch and actually still was because we just ate it anyway.  It’s funny now but it was not so funny at the time.

If you were a baked item, what would you be and why?

I’d be the chicken tikka pie I made on the show.  Very mess, quite colourful, but nice on the inside.

What would winning The Great Kiwi Bake Off mean to you?

Winning The Great Kiwi Bake Off would be incredible.  I love baking so much and to have it confirmed by professionals that I actually know what I’m doing would be unbelievably cool.  Winning the show would also give me a confidence boost in terms of trying to pursue a career in baking.

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