Tag Archives: international students

Meet Alex: your 2018 UCSA International Rep

Kia ora,

My name is Alex and I am a fourth year student here at UC. I have just completed a degree in marketing and finance. This year I am about to start my Masters. I have loved my time at UC and have made sure that I make the most of all that UC offers.

This year I am your UCSA International Rep. In previous years the UCSA has not had an International Student Representative, so it is not only a new thing for me but the entire association. This means we are excited to get your feedback and insight into what you would like to see come from this new role. I look forward to hearing from students and giving it my all.

With an increased number of international students, there is a greater need to bring international representation to the forefront. We have got a lot in the pipeline for international students this year and are working hard to make sure that all international students enjoy their time here and make the most of all that UC and the UCSA offers. I am looking forward to bringing you new events and new initiatives, with the hope of keeping you involved and enjoying your time here at UC.

Orientation is now over, but I am excited to let you know that the events don’t just stop there. On Wednesday 21 March there is an International Students ‘Kiwiana quiz & catch up night’ – make sure you get a free ticket and get involved! The UCSA looks forward to meeting you and enjoying a fun evening with you.

If you have any questions or need any help, pop in and utilise the services that the UCSA offers. I would really appreciate hearing from you so feel free to email me on international@ucsa.org.nz or if you see me out and about don’t be afraid to say hi!

Look forward to seeing you at the quiz!

Alex Holmes

New Zealand weather – the art of layering

Dear international students,
Did you see one too many pictures of New Zealand looking like a tropical island before you arrived in Christchurch? Our recent weather may have caught you and your summer wardrobe by surprise.
We do actually have beautiful weather in Christchurch – this summer has been considered very HOT by locals with temperatures often in the high 20 degrees Celsius or early 30s. The fact is, we are in Te Waipounamu South Island, and not too far from the Southern Alps in one direction (yay – skiing and mountain biking), and even closer to the Pacific Ocean on the other side (yay – swimming and surfing). Our weather is quite different from the North Island, parts of which, to those who grew up in the South Island, seem almost tropical.
While the recent weather event was unusually severe, there is a reason why New Zealanders talk about four-seasons-in-one-day. Crowded House even sang about it. Watch the video, which is described as ‘using distinctly Kiwi imagery’ on NZ ON SCREEN>
Try asking a New Zealander: “Shall I take or wear my sweater today?” Chances are they may say “You need to layer.” They might also say, “we call sweaters ‘jerseys’ mate”. Jerseys are usually knitted wool – and the best ones have been knitted by Mum. Sweatshirt is more likely to be a commonly understood term.
Layering in New Zealand is probably considered almost a part of Kiwi culture and it’s a bit of an art. If you take a look at metservice.com and click on a town you can see it often suggest how many layers to wear. Useful! The idea is you wear and carry layers so whatever the ‘seasons’ on a given day, you are prepared.
So try this in Christchurch –
In summer:
·   Always carry a sweatshirt. Hoodie sweatshirts are great. If an easterly wind comes in from the ocean you’ve got your torso and head covered. If a north westerly wind comes across the Canterbury Plains bringing the heat, peel off the sweatshirt to your T-shirt.
·  Keep a small cheap umbrella in your bag.
·  There’s another layer – a wide-brimmed hat or sunscreen. Sunburn happens fast in New Zealand and the skin cancer risk is real. Kiwi’s know all about Slip (on a shirt), Slop (on some sunscreen) Slap (on a hat)>

In spring and summer:
·  Consider carrying a heavier layer than the sweatshirt.
· Everything else above still applies, including the sunscreen.

In winter:
· Many southern Kiwis are used to their Mums asking when they were kids – and even now they’re an adult – “are you wearing a singlet?”  in that “I am your Mother!” tone  before they leave the house. Cotton, polyester, merino – whatever your choice, Kiwi Mums are right. Add some singlets to your wardrobe. Singlet on first then add another two layers on the top half of your body. Carry a hat or use that hoodie.  
·  Go to a second-hand store and find a jersey that someone’s Mum knitted. Wear it with pride. Unless you want it to turn into a jersey for your six year old brother, hand wash, or delicate wash in the machine.
·   Have you ever worn a puffer jacket? Bliss.
·   Woolen hat, pompoms add style. Gloves. Scarves. Thick socks. Do not skimp on these options.

 And when your friends and family come and visit from overseas and ask you what to bring to wear – you’ve got this: “Layer, layer, layer.” Welcome to Christchurch!

Kind regards,
A Christchurch local (who has also lived even further south and is therefore quite good at knitting. Check out the newspaper extract below from the Press, May 1935 and read it in full here>)

International students – help us and win a Black Cat cruise

International students – we need your help, and you might win a Black Cat cruise!

We need a focus group of international students who enrolled for the first time at UC in Semester 1 or 2 this year (2017) to spend one-hour with us on Friday 27 October 12 noon to 1 pm to give us advice on the Guide to UC for international students.

We’ll provide lunch plus you have the opportunity to go into a draw to win a double pass to experience the Akaroa Harbour Nature 2011 AHNC composite 3a RGBCruise.

Thanks Black Cat Cruises! #blackcatcruises
Check out their info and the photo gallery below.

Interested? Here’s what to do:

  1. Email us  by 5pm Tuesday 24 October at communications@canterbury.ac.nz with the subject heading: UC Guide.
  2. Tell us why you think you would be good at providing us with advice on the Guide to UC for international students.
  3. Provide us with your student identification number.

We will let you know if you have been selected to be a part of the focus group on Wednesday 25 October.

Check out these awesome photos and imagine yourself on a Black Cat cruise…


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