Mattanja Hiemstra, a year two Wintec | Te Pūkenga Spatial Design student is set to travel to Canada in August to continue her study at Mount Royal University (MRU) on an international exchange for four months, from 5 September to the 23 December.
Hiemstra says her parents took in exchange students so she’s been surrounded with exchange students since intermediate. “I've met people from Japan, from Italy, from India, Korea and China. And I just think it's very interesting. So I've always wanted to [do an exchange].”
Hiemstra's interests were piqued after hearing Team Manager Julie Ashby share the student exchange opportunities available to Wintec Te Pūkenga students. “I just like, lit up and I was like, Oh, I gotta get into this,” she says.
She chose to study in Canada because it gave her the opportunity to continue study in the specialist field of interior design. “The options that were laid out for me were Denmark and Canada, and Mount Royal University gave me the option to align the course credit to my degree.” When she returns to New Zealand, she can finish her degree and graduate within the same time period as her peers.
Having not heard of Mount Royal University in Canada, Hiemstra started to follow the university on Facebook and social media. “I just see how lovely it is, it just seems so cool,” she says. “I've already got my townhouse sorted there as well. “[It’s] So cute, so cozy. I'm also in contact with roommates who I have not met yet. So that’s really cool. The communication on their end has been really welcoming.”
Hiemstra is excited to meet the many exchange students who have signed up to the programme, flying in from many different parts of the world, while continuing to develop her design knowledge and skills. “I just enjoy making houses like homes, because I've moved around a lot. So I've just always loved being confident and feeling safe in our environment. As a designer, to make other people feel that, that’s the goal.”
Find our more about Student Internship and Scholarship Opportunities:
Wintec | Te Pukenga has a whole range of internship and scholarship opportunities available for our ākonga. Follow the links below for more information, and please promote these to our ākonga.