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Student profile - Nicole Zhong

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Home country: China     UOLCFY programme: Foundation Year

Nicole is from China and is currently studying the Arts stream at Foundation Year. Prior to coming to Dunedin she was studying in Auckland but she found her English wasn’t developing as fast as she wanted it to. She thought coming to Dunedin would give her more of a chance to use the English she has already learned. She chose to study in New Zealand because of the high quality of our Education system here and a degree from the University of Otago would be really valuable. She will study Early Childhood Education at Otago University.
Another reason why she chose New Zealand was the amazing natural beauty that can be found here. She has a passion for outdoor living which includes hiking, surfing, camping and anything else that gets the heart pumping in a beautiful setting. She has already visited many places across the length of New Zealand. Nicole really loves to travel and dreams of a world without borders!
During her time here in Dunedin she has had amazing experiences meeting people from all around the world, feeling the four seasons in one day, eating delicious Thai food at St Clair beach esplanade and participating in some of the healthy and fun activities we organize here at UOLCFY. Camping near the base of NZ’s Southern Alps with our other students was one of the highlights of 2016. Outside of Otago the most interesting place she visited was Waitomo Caves where she tried black-water rafting, caving, rock-climbing and checked out the glowworms.
Nicole’s advice to anyone thinking of studying here at UOLCFY is “come on!” The learning environment is fantastic and really encourages studying. She even enjoys subjects here that she had previously disliked – she says this is down to the teachers being really knowledgeable, enthusiastic, funny and warm. She also feels very safe here and doesn’t worry too much when she has to walk home late at night from the library.
One final piece of advice Nicole offers is to recommend staying in a Homestay when you first arrive. Her host family has been amazing because they are very supportive of her, always have time for a chat or deep discussion, cook delicious meals and made her feel so much at home. She will keep in contact with them after she leaves for sure.