Category Archives: Student contributors

Blogs written by UC students.

Twin Peaks: an unforgettable weekend away

Ever wanted to star-gaze in a world class dark sky reserve? Go camping in New Zealand’s wild south, or soak in a hot pool under the stars?

Information session
Thursday 22 March, 6.00pm
The Living Room (UBS building)

PhysSoc’s Twin Peaks Trip is all about giving students from UC, regardless of discipline, the chance to experience the magic of the Aoraki MacKenzie Dark Sky Reserve, south of Christchurch. Over three days, students get the chance to experience camping by Lake Tekapo, seeing the breath-taking night sky at Mt John Observatory (with a free hot chocolate from the cafe!), going on a short hike around our highest mountain, Mt Cook, and much more. A highlight from last year was the unforgettable gathering we had around a campfire under the night sky on the shore of Lake Tekapo. The trip is super popular for international students, as it’s a fantastic way to meet and have fun with some awesome new people, all in a environment that offers some of New Zealand’s best natural attractions.

For tickets, and more info check out our Facebook event. For spectacular photos from last year’s Twin Peaks check out the photo gallery below.

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Peer support for postgrads

 Suvo is a PhD student from India studying Media and Communication at UC. Read on about how SOAR Advisors help postgraduate students. 

Hi there.

 ­As an international student, it took me a while to get used to UC and the new Kiwi environment, but the Postgraduate Office, along with a range of UC services like the Academic Skills Centre, Rec Centre, a variety of student support services and the Library really helped me to settle in. My department and initial supervisor also played a big part in helping me to feel at home in Christchurch and at UC.

I have also learned so much from my fellow students and friends from around the world.  But still, there was something missing: formal peer support. To fill this gap, the Postgraduate Office has created the SOAR Advisors, a group of peer advisors I’m now proud to be part of. SOAR Advisors help new postgrad students settle comfortably at UC during the initial months of their study, and can also provide assistance with skills including academic writing, literature reviews and a variety of data analysis tools.

We help students from across the campus, and work with the Academic Skills Centre and the Postgraduate Office to organise events like GradFest. As a SOAR Advisor I’ve learnt a lot both from my colleagues and from the students I’ve worked with; it’s also a great opportunity for all of us to make new friends along the postgrad journey. For more information about the current SOAR Advisors and how they can help you, please join our Facebook page or find us on the UC website.

Building awareness around food waste

Jack Whittam

ELDP students Jack Whittam, Katy Byrne and Ailine Kei.

12,856 tonnes. It’s not only the weight of the Eiffel Tower, or even the amount of weight you feel like you’ve put on since the Hot Wok started doing daily $2 rice, it’s also the amount of bread thrown away every year in New Zealand!

In fact, bread is the number one food thrown away in New Zealand, making up 10.5% of all food that is wasted. As a part of a national food waste awareness campaign, in conjunction with Love Food Hate Waste New Zealand and Christchurch City Council, a bunch of keen UC students built a pyramid out of 2,283 loaves of bread, representing how many loaves are wasted in New Zealand every hour.

As members of the Emerging Leaders Development Programme (ELDP), a group of us were able to volunteer at the event, preparing the pyramid for construction and feeding curious students passing by with a ‘meal in a mug’ – a super simple sweet treat that minimises food waste, and maximises easy cooking, convenience and taste!

The ELDP has a great focus on teaching leadership skills to students through community volunteering opportunities, and our contribution to this event punctuated the last of seven service projects the Emerging Leaders cohort has undertaken this year.

Other voluntary service projects have included sorting food relief packages at the Christchurch City Mission, walking rescue husky dogs for Husky Rescue New Zealand, maintaining public spaces for Gap Filler and providing free academic tutoring to high school students.

The student’s enthusiastic contribution toward these events reflects the passion these students have shown to make a real difference in their community.

Written by Jack Whittam ELDP student