Katheryn's Story

Introducing Ha Giang Nhat Tran (Katheryn)

Listen to Katheryn's Story

So, where's home and what are you studying?

I'm from a city near Hanoi in Vietnam. Right now, I'm studying an UTP (University Transfer Programme) in Commerce at UCIC and will move into 2nd year  Operations and Supply Chain Management and Information Systems.

Why the switch from Vietnam to New Zealand?

Study in Vietnam wasn't really working for me. It was loud and crowded and I just couldn't focus. But UCIC is completely different. Classes are small, like 25-30 students max. I used to be shy about asking questions, but my teachers are super chill. I can reach them whenever I need help with lectures or assignments. No joke, they're so supportive. I once emailed a teacher during a holiday break, stuck on some final exam stuff, and she got straight back to me with a detailed explanation.

What's campus life like for you?

Oh, it’s so cool! I'm part of the Asian Kiwi Society, UCGS (University of Canterbury Global Society) and the Student Volunteer Army, and if there is any event, I’m there! Campus is buzzing and there is so much to do and see. I really feel included in life here.

What’s UCIC like, do you feel supported?

UCIC's like my second home. My teachers and staff are so accessible, and they make the tough stuff, interesting. When I looked at my options, it just felt right for me. They've got this cool mix of academic excellence and practical learning. Plus, the vibe around the college seemed so friendly and supportive. I thought, 'Yep, this is where I want to dive into my studies.’

Any challenges?

I arrived two weeks late due to a visa issue, but UCIC helped me get everything sorted. Teachers, staff, and classmates – they were all amazing. I got back on track and made me feel like I wasn't alone.

How's Christchurch treating you?

Christchurch is so cool. It's like a chill version of Auckland. Peaceful vibes, not too crowded, and it still has all the shopping and restaurants you’d expect from a big city.  Choosing New Zealand, Christchurch, and UCIC was like finding the perfect combo for my education adventure. I looked at a few options, but as a nature-lover, New Zealand is what really appealed to me. I can’t even put into words how beautiful it is!

Tell us about your role in the UCIC Student Council?

We’re all about well-being, engagement and being a voice for students. We organise events, and make sure everyone's heard. Being part of the Student Council is helping develop my leadership skills too.

Any standout moments so far?

I went on my first-ever road trip with my friends who I’d met at UCIC. The freedom and independence were unreal. It was a goal ticked off my list.

What's your message to other students looking to at UCIC and UC?

You just have to dive right in! My aim is to show Vietnamese students that they can come here and thrive. And of course, I'm here to help anything when they get here, from studies, to what life is like.  Come join the Kiwi adventure!

UCIC Programmes

Foundation Studies Certificate

University Transfer Programme: Commerce

University Transfer Programme: Science

University Transfer Programme: Engineering