Category Archives: Student contributors

Blogs written by UC students.

UCSA Executive elections are happening

Why should I care?
The University of Canterbury Students’ Association (UCSA) is the representative body for UC students. Each year 12 students are elected to be your representatives and form the governing body of the UCSA. The core function of the executive governance role is to monitor performance, give direction, and to hold management to account – essentially to ensure that the UCSA is operating for students.

The Executive also represent you at UC by sitting on a range of college/faculty boards and project groups (such as the sustainability group or for the graduate profile). The President also sits on the University Council – UC’s governing body. The Executive plays a key role in ensuring the UC student experience be the best it can be – so it’s important you engage and vote for someone who best represents you.

How do I vote?
You will be sent a link to your voting form via your student email on Wednesday morning, 16 August. Voting closes 5pm Friday 18 August. Every student gets 12 votes, one vote for each of the positions of President, Vice-President, Finance Officer, Postgraduate Rep, Equity & Wellbeing Rep, and up to seven votes for the General Executive.

How do I find out more?
An Election handbook is currently on stands around campus and provides you with information on all the candidates. It can also be found on the UCSA website.

The following lists all the candidates in the 2018 election (in alphabetical order) and their relevant online content:



Finance Officer

Equity & Wellbeing Rep

Postgraduate Rep

General Executive

For more info, head to

Six months in Vienna

Applications for Semester Two 2018 exchanges are due Friday 1 September. Please refer to our website for more information.

Sophie Hale spent 6 months on an exchange at the Vienna University of Business and Economics in Austria while studying towards her Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences and Economics. She shares with us her motivations, opportunities and memories from Vienna.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

What motivated you to go on exchange?
I was inspired to go on exchange from working as a mentor for incoming international students as well as a student leader at UC International Welcome days. I met and befriended so many incredible people through doing this, all of whom had such a thirst for life and adventure as they knew their semester in New Zealand would go fast but be full of incredible opportunities! Their energy was infectious and I wanted to have an experience like that of my own! In fact I was hugely thankful that one of the incoming exchange students that I mentored the year before my exchange became a good friend of mine and when I arrived in Vienna, she picked me up from the airport and helped settle me in. These connections take you everywhere!

What advice would you give to someone considering going on exchange?
If you’re even slightly considering going on exchange, my advice would be to start researching early! Talk to course advisors and the International Mobility team, because fitting an exchange semester in (if you still want to complete your degree in the number of years you intended) can take strategic course enrolment. It’s important to do a lot of research into the courses available at the universities you are considering applying for – because ideally everything will cross credit back to your UC degree!

What was the most memorable event or experience from your exchange?

  • Joining my fellow exchange students for ten weeks of waltzing classes and then waltzing the night away at my university’s ball in the 700-year-old Hofburg palace!
  • Playing Quidditch competitively for Austria against other European countries and training for 10 hours a week (sometimes in the snow!)
  • Experiencing winter Christmas – for Vienna that means a multitude of amazing Christmas markets with hot mulled wine and crafts, as well as ice-skating outside City Hall (they turn the entire front courtyard into a massive rink for a whole month in winter!).

I can say without the slightest inkling of doubt that my exchange semester – my six and a half months in Vienna – were the best of my life, and despite the hoops I had to jump through to get there I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything and I don’t want to imagine my life now had I not gone. It is really that transformative! Every day of your exchange is so precious (because the time goes so fast!), and it is a beautiful thing to proudly say you’re a Kiwi and share with new friends how amazing this country is that we call home.

Wairua Week: ‘Tāku Wairua’

For UC Wairua Week we’ve asked students of different faiths and spiritual perspectives to share how their spirituality impacts their experience at UC. Sally Kinghazel is a Māori student studying the Arts of Te Reo and Indigenous studies. #ThisIsWhoIam

I have been part of Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha for just over a year. My tohu is in the Arts of Te Reo and Indigenous (Iwi Taketake) studies. Here are my thoughts around the wairua (spirit) I live it in my daily walk (hikoi).

I surrendered my life to God about 10 years ago, and that’s where my whakapono (faith) and my tūmanako (hope) has comes from. My wairua is strong as a Māori Wahine.  It’s not to say that I will not come up against adversities in my life, but I know that I will be able to manage my situation a lot better, enough to know how to stand and deal with issues that will come my way.

A scripture I stand on in times when my wairua has been pierced because I know God talks to my spirit and teaches me how to conquer through prayer.

Isaiah 61-1: The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.

I find coming to Te Wānanga lifts my wairua even more and the people I make connection with is even greater. I always talk and thank my Lord every chance I get. He guides me in my walk, he is the light that goes before me and he put’s great and amazing people in my life. Each day is a new one. So I bless the eyes that read this, and may God be with you.

ake ake tonu Āmine.