International Newsletter #2

Kia ora koutou, welcome to International Newsletter 2!

I hope you have all had a good first term at UC. It’s been hectic, but fortunately I’ve been able to meet a lot of you already and attend some events. I look forward to meeting more of you this year, so please reach out to me at for any feedback, issues or things you want to see changed here at UC.


  1. Ramadan
  2. What have I been doing in the first term?
    • New Zealand International Students Association
    • Mentoring Program
    • Feedback on Managed Isolation Quarantine (MIQ) fee increase
    • WeChat
  3. What is the Government saying? What support services are available nationally?
    • NauMai
    • NZQA
    • IStudentComplain
  4. Want to write in CANTA?
  5. International Student Highlight! – Ai Nee Looi
  6. Upcoming International Student Events



Frstly, I’d like to say Ramadan Kareem! I hope all our Muslim brothers and sisters had a peaceful and blessed time during the Holy month of Ramadan. Hopefully you saw on the @UCSA_nz Instagram that I along with Law Rep Jess and Vice-President Georgie participated in the 1 Day Ramadan Fasting Challenge. We all appreciated the opportunity to learn more about and understand what Ramadan is for our Muslim students. As Ramadan draws to a close, I wish you all an Eid Mubarak


What have I been doing in the first term?

New Zealand International Students’ Association

I’ve been following on the work of last year’s International Rep Derrick Edward to join the New Zealand International Students’ Association (NZISA). I am currently in the process of collating the documents to join, as well as informing the rest of the Executive about what it is all about.

My plan is to put this forward at the Half-AGM later this year to give enough time to ensure the proper process is followed. Keep an eye out on your emails to know when it’s coming up so you can vote on this!

If you’d like to know more about the NZISA, you can head to their website here.

Mentoring Program

I’ve been in contact with the University to discuss plans around creating a mentoring program for International Students to partner with people within industry. This has come out of feedback from the IAG and department meetings. Hopefully this will help International students find careers as well as help Christchurch businesses to better understand the process, values and skills of international students within the workforce. If you have ideas on this, please let me know!

Feedback on Managed Isolation Quarantine (MIQ) fee increase

Recently with the help of the IAG, I submitted a response on issues regarding the recent increase in MIQ fees and changes to proof of funds and what the impact this is having on International students. This information was submitted to national student unions and within the University. Thank you to all of you who contributed to this and I’d like to particularly thank Thomas Wang and Melody Hong for going out to survey students on these issues.


I am looking at other ways to communicate with all our International students. I’ve started the discussion about the UCSA potentially using WeChat.


What is the Government saying? What support services are available nationally?

Nau Mai NZ is an official Government website with resources and information for international students in New Zealand. If you sign-up you can receive updates about government changes that may affect you, work rights, how to find employment, etc. Head to the link here for more

Disclaimer: The services below are available for every international student. But I would first recommend seeing UCSA Advocacy and Welfare before accessing these services. Ee-Li and the team may be able to solve this scenario before you need to access these.


If you have an academic complaint or an issue that still has not been resolved and you have already been through UC’s formal complaint process. There is an opportunity to send a complaint through to the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). You can read more here about the process.


IStudentComplain is another great resource for students, they are a free and independent service funded by the Ministry of Education. They can provide non-academic assistance with issues like financial complaints and contractual complaints. Checkout their website here.

Want to write for CANTA?

CANTA is UC’s student magazine and after a suggestion from within the IAG, I was asked if International students could contribute. I have talked to the people over at CANTA and they would love to have International students contribute more! If you are interested/want to know what topics are upcoming, get in touch with myself or the editor at CANTA.

International Student Highlight! – Ai Nee Looi

I’m very excited to announce our first International Student Highlight, Ai Nee Looi! Ai Nee is part of the IAG and is doing some great things while here at UC. Want to see yourself here? Let me know!

Kia ora e te whanau,

I am Ai Nee, a very proud Malaysian Chinese currently in my second semester of my first year pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Finance and Tax & Accounting. I am very privileged to be given this opportunity to feature on this newsletter and today, I will be sharing my UC journey.

A wee bit of what I have been up to on campus is I am currently a committee member of UCSA’s 2021 International Advisory Group, UC Student Experience Team’s first U18 Student Mentor, an International Student Mentor with the UC Business School, a Platoons Leader on the SVA Student Executive Team 20/21, as well as the Events Manager on the UC Global Society’s Executive Team 20/21. I also chase plastics (frizzzzbeeee!!) with the NZ U20 Women’s team and the UC Ultimate Club so if you would like to watch some solid disc slinging action, head down to Ilam Fields every Monday from 6pm to 8pm (shameless promo :3)!

Ever since arriving in New Zealand 18 months ago, I have made up my mind to volunteer as much as I can as a contribution back to the community. The heartful welcome that I have received in both Wellington and Christchurch, along with such friendly, helpful and caring people that I have met throughout my journey here in New Zealand has truly touched me. This has thus led me to join the Student Volunteer Army (SVA) here in UC 8 months ago and presently, I sit as a Platoons Leader on the SVA Student Executive Team 20/21. Being a part of the SVA exec has undoubtedly been one of the best decisions I have ever made as it has opened up a lot of opportunities and learning curves for me, especially an international student. From being able to learn more about New Zealand and how is it like to be surrounded by a team of like-minded Kiwis, to participating and voicing out for youths here in New Zealand. I am absolutely honoured to be able to represent the SVA in Youth Voice Canterbury’s Activate – Hui Taiohi 2021 in Wainui with other youth councils across South Island during this Easter break whereby I have got to realize the importance of youth voice in our communities and develop my skills and kaupapa. Being the only international student throughout the weekend, I was never prouder to be able to share my story, learn how youths here in Aotearoa stand up for their community and the significance of Te Reo Māori (I’ve actually managed to learn a few words!). A few topics that we have covered during the hui are Ko Wai Au, political neutrality, professional image, ethics and environmental care. It was a pleasant, memorable and valuable weekend, and I cannot emphasize enough how we, as international students, should be confident and empowered to speak our mind and stand up for our community.

A tip from me to everyone reading this newsletter is to be bold and try new things. Do not be afraid of throwing yourself out there and explore! Make the most out of the clubs on campus and I can vouch that people on campus are genuinely welcoming and most of them are very interested in our stories and culture.

I sincerely hope to see more of us, international students, being involved with the university and its community, and I hope everyone had a great Easter break!

Ngā mihi nui,
Ai Nee Looi

International Student Event Highlight

On the 26th of May, Canterbury Malaysian Students Association (CMSA) are hosting their International Food Festival!

The event will be held in Haere Roa from 12:30pm-4:30pm.


Other Events:

UCSA Arts Fest is on! Checkout the UCSA Facebook to see what’s coming up this May.

Sports Carnival was a two-day event organized to provide a fun sports experience by competition between teams, made successful by Canterbury Malaysian Students’ Association committees as well as UC Vietnamese Students’ Community committees in collaboration. This event allowed people to discover their passion and potential towards sports. Everyone, especially the new club members were able to connect with the current members of the clubs and other new members. Sports held were futsal, netball, badminton, basketball and frisbee with a total of around 80 people including the spectators. Winners for each sports receive certificates and some gifts as a token of appreciation for their participation and hard work.

That’s all for this month’s newsletters! If you want to see something changed, want to give feedback on the international space, or anything else. Please let me know! You can reach me at

Ngā mihi nui,

Matt Wong-Kam

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