MIL-OSI New Zealand: Distance student feels the pull to return to New Zealand


Source: Massey University

Elizabeth McCready has appreciated the ease of studying by distance with Massey University.

The ease of studying by distance has helped one student decide it’s time for her to return to New Zealand.

“Everything in general at Massey is so streamlined. It is really easy to deal with any issues that arise and I guess that’s just the pragmatic vibe that is the Kiwi way. I’ve missed it, as well as the fresh air in Wellington, because it blows everything away!”

Elizabeth McCready was born in Canada but has dual citizenship with New Zealand. She attended school in Wellington before returning to live in Toronto. It was through recently rediscovering some of her connections to New Zealand that she stumbled across Massey.

“I wondered what programmes they had and whether I could study there. After talking with staff at Massey I just decided to give distance learning a go. It was so easy and within about 10 days I had a student number. I was surprised by how little bureaucracy there was and the paperwork that existed only made sense. It was anxiety reducing, instead of anxiety provoking.”

Ms McCready had previously studied Social Anthropology and Natural Sciences in Canada and worked in special education for many years. She found it was no longer challenging her and was keen to take a different direction in her career.

After initially enrolling in Urban Design, she decided to instead study Information Technology as she felt it provided great job opportunites, as well as the chance to work with a wide variety of people.

“Massey helped me figure out what I’m doing without some of the big stressors of changing programmes. I was actually able to talk with real people without a lot of stuff in the way. Because Kiwis are such a social bunch and can talk, there’s less bureacracy. It’s led to my decision to move back to New Zealand. I’ve really missed the ‘she’ll be right attitude’.”

One thing she has found particularly helpful as a distant student, is the inclusion of Microsoft Teams in her courses. While she appreciates the forum in Massey’s online learning portal Stream, Ms McCready has enjoyed having the ability to instantly message other students.

“Teams has been so brilliant and has made such a difference. I’m actually communicating with people and we are constantly chatting. It’s so good for mental health and also for collaborative learning, we can talk and have a conversation like you normally would. That helps to really get to know other students and share files and work on files simultaneously.”

Ms McCready is due to complete her one year graduate diploma in IT later this year. She aims to be living back in New Zealand by 2025.

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