Francine Tan

Key Info

  • Computer Science

One year ago, Singaporean student Francine Tan had never travelled alone or spent more than two weeks away from her family. She was nervous to travel to a small country on the other side of the world, but as she comes to the end of her year abroad, Francine considers New Zealand her second home.

When the digital forensics student decided to spend her first year of tertiary education studying abroad, her destination was a no-brainer. Francine’s parents had honeymooned in New Zealand and she’d heard good things about the University of Waikato research programme from her teachers.

She has enjoyed the practical elements of the University of Waikato’s course structure, crediting the University cyber security lab for her practical skills.

“My teachers back home had told me that the University’s research programme was really strong and I was pleased that it lived up to its reputation. My work with the cyber security lab helped me to fine-tune my practical skills.”

With little knowledge about New Zealand before she visited, Francine was pleasantly surprised by the country’s welcoming nature.

“I didn’t realise how nice everyone would be. Everyone always says hi to each other and wants to help each other out. The little things like saying ‘thank you’ to your bus driver or making conversation with your cashier mean a lot.”

Francine is just about to head back to Singapore, and can’t decide what she will miss most about New Zealand.

“Living in New Zealand has given me a new perspective – one of the most valuable lessons I have learnt is that sometimes having a break is good. In New Zealand, people work really hard but also recognise the importance of rest. I will miss so many things about the University and would like to come back to visit one day.”

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