Category Archives: Student life

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

New programme welcomes Tokyo students at UC

Have you had an opportunity to welcome visiting students from Tokyo City University? 

They’re part of a new and innovative programme which expands opportunities for visiting international students and gives domestic students the opportunity to interact with international visitors in an extended and meaningful way.

Welcomed by the Vice-Chancellor | Tumu Whakarae with a mihi whakatau, they’ve enjoyed a week of orientation activities and English Language Lessons.

They are now taking part in integrated study alongside UC students in scheduled courses. The students will be joining courses CHCH101, EDUC103 and ENVR101 until the end of this Semester and will then participate in a two week intensive laboratory focused course run by the College of Engineering |Te Rāngai Pūkaha. At the completion of the programme of study the TCU students will be given credits by their home university.

As well as their studies the TCU students are looking forward to interacting with other international and domestic students and have been made to feel very welcome by the UCSA J-Soc.

They will also have the opportunity to travel in Aotearoa New Zealand during the mid-Semester break.


Fair Trade Fortnight – let your wallet make the choice

This Fair Trade Fortnight, we’re encouraging our UC community to vote with their wallets for the kind of world they want to live in. Read on to find out how, and discover the mysteries of your Fairtrade coffee on campus…

As part of a four part blog series exploring the recently adopted Sustainability Framework, the UC Sustainability Office is this month turning its attention to partnerships for sustainability, and there is no better time than Fair Trade Fortnight to explore UC’s partnership with the Fair Trade Association of Australia and New Zealand.

In July 2017, UC became recognised by the FTA as a Fair Trade University, one of only two in Aotearoa New Zealand (and the first entirely Fair Trade campus!).

Basically, this means you’re allowed to eat as much chocolate and drink as much coffee on campus as you like, guilt free… because it’s 100% guaranteed Fair Trade certified!

But seriously, what does this mean for UC?

One of the FTA’s key ‘Minimum Requirements’ of becoming a Fair Trade University, is to provide Fair Trade and World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO) certified products in as many on-campus cafes and retail outlets as possible.

But UC’s commitment to Fair Trade doesn’t end at just coffee and chocolate – Fair Trade drinking chocolate, tea, flavoured barista syrups, sugar, cotton clothing and soft drinks are either available in campus cafes, or in your department kitchens.

Where do I fit into this?

Start by eating, drinking and wearing your favourite products, and make sure they are fair trade, and ethically sourced. Every Fair Trade or WFTO purchase you make has a massive positive impact on farmers, producers, their families and their communities in developing countries all over the world. Look for the two most widely recognised ethical labels in the world: Fair Trade and WFTO.

These labels ensure the ingredients in the product have been sourced in accordance with Fair Trade and WFTO social, economic and environmental standards. This means as a consumer, you can be confident that by purchasing this product, you’re making a real positive difference.

Back to the coffee…

Luckily for us, the UCSA has been supplying us with 100% Fair Trade, organic coffee long before our accreditation, from Common Good Coffee Roasters (formally Jailbreaker), and we’d like to share the story of their coffee beans with you.

What’s so special about this Fairtrade coffee on campus, you ask?

  • We’re able to trace the path of our coffee, from bean to cup!
  • For example, the Ethiopian Sidamo coffee bean in your morning coffee comes from Oromia Coffee Farmers’ Cooperative Union (OCFCU), established in 1999 to support a sustainable coffee supply from cooperatives in the Oromia region of Ethiopia.
  • OCFCU supports 360 co-operatives with more than 332,393 farmer-members, accounting for 65% of Ethiopia’s total coffee production.
  • Premiums from coffee exports are returned directly to farmers, and also fund organic farming practices and food security programs.
  • See, guilt free!

UC is proud to stand with Fair Trade producers and encourage ethical sourcing, through our partnership and recognition with FTA, and our relationship with our Fair Trade suppliers operating through Fair Trade ANZ and WFTO.


Want to know more about Fair Trade at UC, and how you, your friends or your department can be involved? Read more here.

Don’t forget: It’s Fair Trade Fortnight right now!

From 3– 16 August, UC is celebrating all things Fair Trade. The Sustainability Office is holding a series of events, talks and activities during the fortnight, and we’d love to see you there! More event information here.

How UC made Rachel’s Parisian dream come true

Rachel Liao is excited to be embarking on the experience of a lifetime as she prepares to study at Science Po Paris, thanks to the UC Student Exchange Programme.

“I’m stoked to be living in France. Learning French has been a passion of mine since high school and my high school trip to France in 2015 really motivated me to keep going with the language. I have been itching to go back!” Rachel told us.

Sciences Po is an international research university, ranking among the finest institutions in the fields of humanities and social sciences.

And, as Rachel explains, “it’s also one of the top Political Science universities in the world.”

Which for a political science major like herself, is an incredible opportunity.

“From areas of study to ways of teaching, Science Po’s courses differ widely to what’s available at UC, and I’m particularly looking forward to a methodology workshop on Diplomacy and International Negotiations this semester.”

In addition to her studies, Rachel is eager to immerse herself in the French culture, spend time exploring another part of the world and taking her language skills to the next level.

Rachel sees her exchange as a great opportunity to both finish her undergrad degree, and get her OE experience. It also gives her the chance to diversify her degree by experiencing a global perspective on her studies.

And the free return airfares UC offers to eligible students didn’t hurt either.

“While I’ve always wanted to go to back to France, the UC Student Exchange programme made the decision much easier and the financial and institutional support I could receive as an exchange student was really appealing to me.”

Rachel will depart New Zealand in late August, ready to begin her two semester stint at Sciences Po in early September 2018. Keep an eye out for more on Rachel’s Parisian exchange experience during her student takeover of the ucnz Instagram account, later this year.

If you’ve been wanting to see more of the world then the UC Student Exchange programme, with over 60 partner universities worldwide, could be just what you’re looking for.

To find out how you can apply for Semester Two 2019, follow this link>