An Update From Your International Rep

The University of Canterbury Students Association (UCSA) is excited to welcome you to our vibrant and diverse University.

No matter where you are from, or who you are, we are pleased you chose to come to the University of Canterbury (UC). This email is aimed at giving you the all the information you need to ensure your time at UC is sensational!

Covid-19/Coronavirus: Your wellbeing

We know International Students are facing a really uncertain time regarding the COVID-19 situation globally. We want you to know there is support available to you. Here are a few things you can do:

  1. There are services available to help you address specific issues you may be having, and you can visit the UC website for a full list. We recommend downloading the UC GO app to receive UC’s latest updates and contacting the University outlining any specific challenges you are facing on ucprotect@canterbury.ac.nz. You can find regularly updated information on the situation here. Stay informed the best you can with the emails and blogs UC regularly puts out.
  1. If you are feeling isolated, concerned about your family, friends or wellbeing or need to chat to someone face to face in this time, please join us this week (18th-20th March) in The Foundry (Haere-roa, the UCSA building) from anytime between 9.30am and 10.30am. The UCSA President, UCSA International Representative as well as representatives from UC will be there to support and help with any concerns. Additionally, you can grab a coffee and connect with others in a time of need.

If you’re feeling unwell, please do not come into University. Instead, please phone the UC Health Centre on +64 3369 4444. For after hours assistance call the dedicated Healthline number on 0800 358 5453.

Your 2020 International Representative

My name is Derrick and I am a fourth-year Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) student. Originally born in South India, I moved to Auckland when I was just a year old and decided to come down to Christchurch to study at UC. As a result, it has been the best time making friends and forming unforgettable memories. My hobbies include basketball, piano, pool/poker and anything tech or space!

This year I am the International Representative on the UCSA, and I am eternally honoured and grateful for this position. A personal philosophy of mine is the quality of your life is determined by the people you hang out with, and if you surround yourself with diverse characters, you will have experiences and gain a perspective you could have never imagined.

With the increase in International students from all over the globe, the UCSA understands how important you are in helping shape the University and the city of Christchurch. We are working incredibly hard to make sure your life here is an unforgettable and invaluable experience filled with opportunities and friendships.

Throughout the year I will have a strong focus on the international community at UC. The UCSA is here to help you, and the following methods are how we can ensure you are represented at the highest levels and taken care of through our student services.

International Representation

2020 is only the third year of UCSA having a dedicated international representative, but in that time, the number of committees the International Representative is part of has grown. So, this year I am a member of the International Committees of all five Colleges – Arts, Science, Business and Law, Engineering and Education, Health and Human Development. I have also been part of the International Welcome events in several of these Colleges.

For the first time ever, I am now a member of the central UC committee focusing on international recruitment and student support which reports to the Senior Management Team (SMT). The purpose of this international committee is to lead the development and implementation of UC’s Internationalisation Strategy and to promote the University’s international profile. As the student representative on this group, I am able to have a voice on the student experience, success and wellbeing, and to keep advocating for better communication and support structures for international students. It’s really exciting to have this platform at a central level of UC.

International Advisory Group

I also chair the International Advisory Group (IAG), a group of students committed to providing student feedback. I take the input from this group, which meets twice a term, on to the UCSA Executive Committee, and on to the College and SMTi meetings. The aim is to ensure that the UCSA hears the international student voice and works to create a stronger sense of belonging for all international students on campus.

UCSA Services

The UCSA has a variety of student services that help domestic and international students throughout their university experience at UC. Whether it is through our representation of students, our advocacy and wellbeing services, the food and drink options and all the student events at UC. These student services include;

For more information regarding all services, events and our student space Haere-roa; visit our website www.ucsa.org.nz

Christchurch and Wider Canterbury

If you haven’t already, make the most of your time in Christchurch by checking out some of these gems:

  • The Arts Centre
  • The Crossing
  • Riverside Market
  • Hagley Park
  • Akaroa or Hanmer Springs for mini breaks.

If you have any questions or need any help, head on over to the UCSA Haere-roa building. The staff are more than happy to help! I would love to hear from you; so come in or send me an email on international@ucsa.org.nz

All the best with your studies and enjoy your time at UC!

Warm Regards,
Derrick Edward
International Representative
2020 UCSA Executive

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