Hary's Story

Introducing Hary

So, where's home and what did you study?

I’m Hary from Indonesia, and I studied a UTP Science at UCIC, followed by a BSc in Geology. I’m now a master’s candidate at the University of Reykjavik, delving into the world of Sustainable Energy with a focus on Reservoir Engineering for Geothermal Development so I get to travel to some pretty cool places around the world. I also get to share my research at conferences and participate in overseas courses. Oh and I’m also a Teaching Assistance.

Wow, so how did UCIC prep you for this journey?

My experience at UCIC was awesome. I loved the smaller communities before entering the University of Canterbury. UCIC has given me so many opportunities to improve my social skills too.  Being more of an introvert, the smaller classes and tight-knit community helped me ease into Kiwi life and polish up on my English skills. UCIC laid a really strong foundation for my studies so when it came time to transition to UC, I was ready – both academically and personally.

What's been the toughest hurdle for you?

Being away from my family was probably the biggest challenge as we are very close. I really had to learn to be more independent. But UCIC had the right support and a friendly ear when I needed it. I also joined RockSoc and SVA (The Student Volunteer Army) where I was able to make new friends.

Are there any other areas of support you used?

The UC Career service is great – when I was applying for my master’s degree they actually helped me with writing my CV as I hadn’t created one before then.

Tell us a bit about life in Christchurch?

I absolutely love Christchurch. Ever since I was in primary school, travelling to New Zealand has been a dream of mine. It’s so beautiful and it's relatively close to Indonesia compared to Europe. Christchurch, is one of the best cities I've ever been to. It's not as crowded as Auckland, but it's not isolated either. It strikes that perfect balance between exciting city life whilst still being laid-back.

You were both a class rep and on the UCIC Student Council. Tell me more about that?

As a class rep, my role involved gathering feedback from students and communicating it to the teachers. This experience was invaluable, not just during my time at UCIC, but also now as I navigate new experiences here in Iceland. It's helped me hone my communication skills and taught me the importance of maintaining strong connections.  

As a Student Council member, you act as a bridge between students and the UCIC team. As secretary I was able to improve my communication and English skills. We also took on the responsibility of organising various clubs and events which were super fun.

So what were the top things you got out of your UCIC experience?

UCIC equipped me with three key things: it helped my develop my organisational skills, it improved my communication skills – especially considering my English wasn't as strong back then. And finally, my leadership skills.

If you could go back and give any advice to 17-year-old Harry, what would you say?

Basically, just do it! It's a hard decision, but it opens so many doors. Back in Indonesia, I never imagined pursuing a Master's in Iceland. It wasn't even on my radar. But look at me now.

UCIC Programmes

Foundation Studies Certificate

University Transfer Programme: Commerce

University Transfer Programme: Science

University Transfer Programme: Engineering