After studying at an ACG Pathways course, Chunxu Chen went on to become a qualified nurse who hopes to specialise in gerontology.
What made you decide to do a foundation course?
As a high school student in China, I learned that to enter universities in NZ I would have to complete a foundation course or enter a local college to fill in my one year education gap. I preferred a foundation course that would better prepare me for tertiary studies as an international student.
I was aware that the courses were designed for us and the teachers were more specialised in helping international students tackle their learning weaknesses.
What was the highlight of your foundation course with ACG?
It would have to be the different learning styles I discovered and learned during my time at ACG. I really enjoyed the open environment where questions and discussions were welcomed and paid attention to. I also found group working particularly helpful.
Such learning processes not only helped my communication skills, but also boosted my confidence, which is a skill that was very much needed during my undergraduate studies and working as a student nurse during my clinical placements.
What makes you want to be a nurse?
Growing up, I was always a child who enjoyed communicating with other people. I believe that nursing is a profession that could provide me with that opportunity of knowing different people, caring for people by promoting health education and potentially educating fellow colleagues when I could go down a more specialised nursing track.
Each day I discover something new and I love the feeling of being able to make good use of my knowledge and skills to make others live better and happier.
Was your nursing degree what you expected?
It is far and away better than I expected.
When I landed in NZ four years ago as a 16 year old, I barely knew anything about nursing. But I did know that I wanted to do something meaningful with my life and I wanted my profession to be worthwhile for all my effort to come all the way from China on my own. Completing a nursing degree gave me all I ever wanted and the people I met, the stories that I listened to, the challenges that I completed along this journey were things that I never even dreamed of.
Are you proud to have graduated from a degree in New Zealand?
I am very proud to say that I hold a Bachelor’s degree of Health Science Nursing from AUT, New Zealand. Especially as I am fully aware of the challenges and obstacles when completing a degree as an international student. However, when I received my qualification, I knew that everything was worth it. The time and effort that I invested into completing a bachelor’s degree in NZ was something that I should take pride in and celebrate.
Where would you like to see yourself in ten years’ time?
Finding a job as a registered nurse is my number one mission after graduating from AUT. I am particularly interested in aged care nursing as I can see that this is going to be much needed in the near future.
Ten years down the track I would like to work as a specialised gerontology nurse, which would require further studies to be most beneficial for older health care consumers.
What advice would you give to someone considering doing a foundation course with ACG?
My best advice is to enjoy the course, keep an open mind and learn proactively by grabbing every single opportunity. With the right systems, knowledgeable and helpful teaching team and well developed and focused teaching, ACG is a great platform to best prepare you for your future studies in whichever area you choose.
Chunxu completed the AUT Certificate in Foundation Studies, delivered by ACG Pathways, in 2014. She graduated in 2017 from AUT University with a Bachelor degree in Health Science specialising in Nursing.