16 Aug Ambassador’s Story: Study abroad in Christchurch
If you are wondering where in the world has the greatest education, beautiful and peaceful nature, where you can either studying and relax at the same time, Christchurch, New Zealand has its all.
From: Stevie Doan, Middleton Grange School – Christchurch International Student Ambassador
Life in Christchurch
In New Zealand is more breathable than Vietnam. Pupils can choose their own subjects, mostly based on courses they are interested in studying at university or pursuing as a career after High School. High school in New Zealand also has incredible events such as school formal, volunteering and ambassadors for school. In Vietnam, students are not allowed to choose subjects and every pupil have to study 13-14 subjects (Some students could not do Physical Education according to their health).
Specifically, in Christchurch, accommodation, depending on the suburb, is very peaceful. In my hometown in Vietnam, mostly houses are really small because of the high population and quite noisy.
Cost of living:
In my opinion, cost of living is probably quite high for an oversea student, but if they have a job it will not be an issue.
In Christchurch, people’s lifestyle is extremely simple and peaceful, people go to work early in the morning so traffic jams do not affect them, after work, some people would go for a run, a walk or biking to enjoy the fresh air, otherwise they would stay at home and watching TV, cooking dinner or spend time with their family. In the weekend, they would have a cup of coffee with their friends, visit their relatives, go to the beach or mountain biking/hiking.While in Vietnam, most adults will be very busy and hardly can spend time with their family, especially women because in my culture, women need to do all the housework so they do not have time for their children or to enjoy their life.
No matter which season, I cannot complain about New Zealand’s weather. Spring starts from September to November, Summer from December to February, Autumn from March to May and Winter from June to August. Courses in Christchurch normally start in February and finish around November-December. In February, it is the last month of summer so the weather is still a little bit hot and windy as it’s slowly giving way for Autumn to come. In general, the weather is very pleasant for a new year of studying.
Positive and negatives of studying abroad
Students who study abroad at first will be really homesick, lonely and jet-lagged due to the different time zone, environment, people and culture. New Zealand community, in general, is nice and welcoming. Culture may be a problem at first but you will fit in easily.
“Study abroad” doesn’t mean “Studying all the time” as you might think. “Study abroad” simply means a purposeful adventure. It is the best way to improve the language you are interested in, gives you independent experiences and helps you to develop a deep understanding of yourself. You will gain new friends from all over the world as well as learn a new culture, improving skills and gain new skills.
Support services at school
In New Zealand, teachers focus on practical and experimental as long as it is safe and fun. Furthermore, pupils are nice and welcoming, it is not hard to be friends with anyone as long as you open your heart. If you struggling with any subjects, do not feel shy but feel free to ask teachers because they are always happy to explain more thoroughly.
In New Zealand, student services will try their best to look for you a homestay that you feel most comfortable to live with. My experience is that they are really nice people, who understand how it feels to live far away from your family, friends and culture so they always try their best to give you a sense of belonging. Also, food might be a problem as they don’t know your taste, feel free to let them know so they can well-prepared for you.
I hope my experiences could help people who wants to study abroad somehow. Study abroad is such an experience of life and it is what you make of it. Don’t be scared, just give it a try and challenging yourself.