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Stella Liu

Loving Life And Her Career In Ōtautahi Christchurch

Six years after moving from China to Christchurch for high school, Stella has built a life she loves and fulfilled her dream of becoming a teacher.

Stella Liu

Loving Life And Her Career In Ōtautahi Christchurch

The Move

Just fifteen when she arrived to study at Burnside High School, the friendly and helpful international department staff supported her through the transition and made her feel like part of a family. Communicating in a different language was her toughest hurdle, but the more Stella picked up English, the easier everything became. She was surprised just how friendly people in Christchurch were, with strangers saying "hi" in the street - something Stella thought was “pretty cool”.

Stella's Pathway

Teaching was a career Stella always wanted to pursue, so after hearing about the quality of the Early Childhood teaching programme at the University of Canterbury (UC) she successfully applied and began her Bachelor of Teaching & Learning. The teaching placements that were part of her course provided valuable work experience and Stella says that UC prepared her well for employment through the professional knowledge and skills she gained there.

Now Qualified And Employed

Now a qualified early childhood teacher at Grow Active in Christchurch, Stella loves mat time and reading stories with the children. She is really proud of getting accepted for the first job she applied for and believes there are plenty of job opportunities in Christchurch for international students. In fact, the number of jobs advertised online in Canterbury hit a record high in 2022 – with more jobs advertised than ever before.

I love just heading to a beach, going for a walk and enjoying the sunshine in the parks.”

Why Christchurch?

With lots of friends and good connections in Ōtautahi, Stella loves the life she has made here. She finds there is always something new to do, places to explore and to enjoy.

“I love just heading to a beach, going for a walk and enjoying the sunshine in the parks.” she says.

The city’s perfect size makes it easy to catch up with friends after work and grab a coffee or a drink with them. Road trips have taken her around Aotearoa to places like Queenstown, Auckland, Wellington, Dunedin and the West Coast and while she acknowledges they all have beautiful scenery, it’s Christchurch Stella loves and has chosen to call home.

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