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blog hero jiashu refer friend winner

Competition Winner Shows Family his Life in NZ

For Chinese student Jiashu Yang, winning our Refer a Friend competition has given him an incredible opportunity to show his family how independent and confident he has become in New Zealand.

Jiashu won a ticket from New Zealand to China in the Education New Zealand competition.

The competition encouraged Chinese international students to send their friends in China a WeChat invitation to play a fun interactive game about studying in New Zealand.

Students who invited their friends to play the game had their names entered in a draw – which Jiashu won.

He was able to catch up with family and friends back home, and visit the newly-opened Shanghai Disney Resort (where he's pictured in the photo above, to the right of Mickey Mouse).

Jiashu also won a second ticket, which he gave to his aunt to travel from China to New Zealand. Jiashu’s grandmother and two of his cousins joined his aunt on the trip.

“My family saw that New Zealand is a beautiful and lovely place to study, and learned more about my life here,” he says.

Jiashu says studying in New Zealand has given him the opportunity to meet people from many countries, making him more aware of other cultures.

“I have friends from all over the world now,” he says. 

“I’ve also learned to think for myself, and to become more independent and confident.”

Jiashu took his family on a tour of New Zealand, from the adventure capital of Queenstown to Auckland, New Zealand’s biggest city.

Favourite spots included a glow worm cave in Te Anau and a geothermal attraction in Rotorua.

“We had a great time,” says Jiashu.

Jiashu is now in his third and final year of a Bachelor of Commerce in Management and Marketing at the University of Canterbury. He studied English in Queenstown before taking a foundation studies course to prepare for tertiary study.

“New Zealand is a great place to study. The education system is very flexible – you can choose any major you like, and change your major according to your situation,” he says. 

“I also like the New Zealand way of learning, which is about thinking for yourself rather than following any guidelines.”

Jiashu has been impressed by the study facilities in New Zealand institutions, and the help given to international students. He has had lots of support from his tutors and from the University of Canterbury’s Academic Skills Centre. 

He has also made it his mission to help other international students settle into life in New Zealand, doing lots of voluntary work to help new students feel at home here.

Jiashu is now looking forward to the next time his family is likely to visit New Zealand – for his graduation ceremony. 


By Linley Boniface

Updated 3 years ago

Linley Boniface is a contract writer for Education New Zealand. She is based in Wellington, her favourite city in New Zealand. A former journalist, Linley spent a year in Montreal, Canada, as a secondary school student. 

*Views expressed are the blogger's own
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