Jingjing and Jess are currently studying towards the University of Canterbury’s Post-Graduate Diploma of Primary Teaching.
Neither student seriously considered returning home after the announcement of Alert Level 4 by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
For Jingjing, the 10-hour flight home to China represented more of a health risk than staying put.
And Jess, who hails from Canada, didn’t want to depart New Zealand without the chance to come back and finish her course.
“School is really important to me,” she says. “There’s no need for me to relocate.”
Student President of the SVA, Isabella Fanselow, says international students play a crucial role in the club’s work.
“I would even go so far to say that our most engaged members are international students,” she says.
Under Alert Level 3, the Christchurch branch of the SVA will delivered medication and groceries to those who needed it, as well as childcare to the healthcare and essential workers.
They also partnered with New World, Z Energy and more to offer a nationwide delivery service to those impacted by COVID-19.
This story was originally published on the Education New Zealand Media Centre and is republished with permission.