Welcome back to Humans of Unicrew! Taking inspiration from “Humans of New York” we are trying to catch up with the wonderful people that make this volunteering world go around. One of the beautiful things about this community is that it is ordinary people doing their part to make the uni, the city and the world just a wee bit more awesome.
Lucy volunteers with the language support program run through the Student Learning Development Centre here at the University. If you’re interested, pop into the office to find out more or check out the website.
What motivates you to volunteer?
My main volunteer work at the moment is with the Student Learning Development’s language support programmes for international students. As a student of foreign languages myself, I have a passion for learning to communicate with people you might otherwise never get to know, and for helping others grow in the confidence to do it! Honestly, I’m so inspired by the students I work with– it takes a lot of guts to go study in a new country where English proficiency is non-negotiable and the way of life may be completely different. Any anxiety I’ve felt over a spontaneous conversation assessment in a language paper definitely pales in comparison to that! So a big part of my motivation is hoping their courage and commitment will rub off on me! If my support can help make what’s often an intimidating, lonely, and overwhelming time better in even a tiny way, then that is a real privilege.
To reiterate: I love to work with international students and all those who’ve taken the leap to come to a new place and learn a new language. I’ve got to say that I particularly enjoy working with students from China, as I study Chinese, and it’s wonderful to be able to make our conversations a very mutual learning experience! It’s great to get insight into Chinese life, language, and culture in a way that goes a bit beyond cooking dumplings and doing tai chi in my year 10 Chinese class!
I think I’d enjoy being something like semi-finalist-in-The-Great-British-Bake-Off level famous. Enough to enjoy a couple of radio interviews for a while after the show, but then fade away into occasionally getting recognised at the supermarket by kindly citizens who watch that sort of show. Given I’m neither British nor one of the nation’s finest amateur bakers this is unlikely, but I can’t say there are many similar New Zealand shows I’d be proud to be known from– sorry!