Gone are the days when you need to apply for a visa, change your wardrobe, say your goodbyes and incur a lot of costs to be a part of the global classroom. With virtual learning on the rise, you can now connect with people from around the world, gain international exposure, and reach your academic goals from the comfort of your own home.
With all the disruptions arising from the pandemic, online learning went from being a requirement for safety to a desired medium. It’s the right shift — online learning today has a lot to offer. Instructors with charisma and knowledge; Pixar-standard animations; a full suite of virtual support from teaching assistants — bar some glitchy videos, these can supplant even the most immersive of on-campus experience. Now, of course, there is no reason why you can’t have the best of both on-site and online worlds once the pandemic is over.
With the UC International College at the University of Canterbury (UCIC), you can start your degree online and head to its New Zealand campus when travel restrictions relax. UCIC’s “Start Online, Finish on Campus” pathway gives students the ideal head-start towards a degree during these uncertain times and an uninterrupted academic experience for 2021.
“The UCIC online campus is a very friendly and useful group. You can see classmates sharing their recipes, watch movies with your friends. We use Zoom to meet our teachers and classmates. If I have questions or there are parts I don’t understand, I can email my teachers,” says student David Heng Yin from China.
The best part about this model of learning? Flexibility. UCIC students can trial the pathway before paying tuition, which will be due only five weeks after a student has begun. They can also defer their offer and start again with face-to-face learning if they find online learning is not suitable for them.
Some of the most crucial elements that go into executing an effective online programme are similar to the elements that go into a good on-site programme. From world-class teaching to experiential opportunities, these are the features of the direct and exclusive UCIC pathways — Foundation Studies, University Transfer Programmes (UTP) — to one of New Zealand’s premier universities, the University of Canterbury.
UCIC is a Category 1 provider in New Zealand, as rated by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA), and awarded “Highly Confident” in Educational Performance and “Highly Confident” in Capability in Self-Assessment. This is the highest possible rating that can be awarded. Ask students and graduates and many will agree these accolades reflect the excellent learning and teaching environment that UCIC provides for international students.
UTP Commerce student Siddharth Reddy Nekkundi Chandrashekara from India describes his experience at UCIC as “fantastic”. “You get one-on-one attention from the teachers, as classroom sizes are smaller and they are very friendly. They go out of their way. They will reply to your emails even though it’s a holiday,” he says.
Sarra Amalia from Malaysia calls UCIC her “second home.” “The staff, lecturers and fellow friends here are like my family because they are super nice and friendly. Not only do they help me with my studies but also give me great advice for my social life,” she says.
The support at UCIC extends to all e-learners. Learning materials are available anytime, anywhere. There are always ways to collaborate and communicate. Formative and summative assessment continue. Self-directed learning, as well as online multimedia and video production are enabled.
These tools and services ensure flexibility in UCIC’s online learning programmes, one of the main reasons students all over the world are drawn to this innovative learning method. Some have bigger commitments that they cannot abandon just yet, some have goals they want to achieve as they further their education, and some just require more control over their time to make the transition easier.
If the transition is a concern, take comfort in knowing that UCIC students from all over the world consider Christchurch, New Zealand to be their ideal home away from home. It’s the fresh air, the strong sense of community, the strong arts and cafe culture, the safe surroundings — an easy place to fall in love with at first sight. “After I got off the plane, I saw the blue skies and the clouds. The people are very friendly, when you’re walking on the street or running in the morning, they will say ‘hello’ to you, and you’ll feel that energy for the whole day,” says Ellen Zhang from China.
New Zealand is famously friendly, welcoming and the perfect balance of modern city life and stunning greenery. From the upper floors of the library and Rutherford buildings on the University of Canterbury’s campus, you can get an unrivalled view of the entire city of Christchurch laid out below, with the snow-covered Southern Alps as its backdrop.
Beginning your academic journey online with UCIC is a great opportunity to broaden your worldview, get a flexible head-start, and meet peers from all over the world that are taking the same steps as you are. You will never feel alone.
Accessible, future-focused, collaborative, and supportive — these are just some of the words students and graduates use to describe the UC International College at the University of Canterbury and their efforts to give students all over the world an opportunity to start strong and end stronger.