Rachel (Jiaxin) Li
Hubei Province - China
Rachel Li’s second year of study at the University of Waikato, studying a Bachelor of Business majoring in Tourism and Hospitality Management, has been quite different to her first year of study.
Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, Rachel has had to start her second year of study in her home country of China, studying online with the University.
Being in China’s worst hit province, Hubei, meant that she had to overcome some challenges, such as being separated from her computer. However, she has now started her online studies, and is connecting with her peers and teachers.
“I’ve received a lot of support from the University, since the border restrictions meant I couldn’t study on campus, including problem-solving with my visa and my course choices,” says Rachel.
With her online learning, Rachel says that the tasks and assignments still require the same amount of effort and are just as challenging.
“Once I could start online study, I received a lot of help from the Waikato Management School and teachers, and connecting with them virtually meant they could help with any questions I had,” says Rachel.
After talking with her friends who are studying at other universities, Rachel discovered that the University of Waikato is one of the fastest to reply on any issue students may have.
“However, you do need to have good self-discipline when learning online, and it still takes time and effort to get a high grade and pass the paper.”
Despite not being on campus, she still feels part of the University community, connecting with clubs and volunteer activities on social media and talking to students from different countries online.
While she would like to be on campus, Rachel is also saving on living and food expenses by doing online learning, and likes spending time with her family.
When the New Zealand border opens, and she is able to come back to the Waikato campus, Rachel is looking forward to catching up with the friends she made in her first year, which is what she misses the most about campus life.
She chose to come to the University because she was attracted by the name ‘Waikato’, as it was easy for her to pronounce, and the University is well-regarded for her major of Tourism and Hospitality Management.
“The staff I met were all so friendly and patient, and I love the lake on campus near the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts.”