28 November 2017

How being president of a club changed my life | Study With New Zealand

Sigrid Yamit
Filipino undergraduate student

Corny title yet it’s nothing but the truth. Becoming president of a city-wide club called Christchurch Educated International Student Association (CEISA) really changed my life in ways that I could never have imagined.

First up, what’s my club about?

CEISA is a club of students (called ambassadors) who create opportunities for international students to help them to experience Christchurch and the Canterbury region to the fullest. CEISA not only organises events but the ambassadors also act as mentors to the international students.

At the start of 2016, I was CEISA’s vice president but fast forward to May and things changed. Due to the then president’s ultra busy schedule, I became CEISA’s new president. I was scared and insecure as I felt that I wouldn’t be able to do a good job but everyone reassured me that I could do it.

So, I swallowed my fear and decided to take the bull by the horns and do my absolute best in the role.

Ever since then, I have become more proactive in the club and I've proposed and initiated new ideas. CEISA had 35 activities and events in 2016 and I played my part in making these all possible.

Telling students about our club

CEISA aims to have culturally relevant events where we want our participants to learn something new (like a new culture or a game from another country). We not only want to help widen their social networks but to also increase their cultural awareness. Our events last year ranged from tree planting to a culture show and games (where students play games from different countries) and a cultural picnic, where students prepared dishes from their home country and then tasted them.

At these event I always saw students genuinely smiling and happily interacting with each other. They seemed to really enjoy our events. Many students also let me their know how much they appreciated CEISA and thanked me for its existence.

As CEISA’s president I was able to do countless things. I met great people and I learned so much from them through their stories and experiences. I had the massive honour of working with an amazing team and I think together we achieved our club’s core goal.

For the past 10 months I’ve gained lifelong friends, awesome experiences and irreplaceable life lessons. Doors that I never thought existed opened up for me and I’ve become braver and more willing to take up new challenges.

I've made lifelong friends

The most important thing that you should take away from this post is: when life gives you lemons, make lemonade and tons of it! Simply take up the challenge, no matter how daunting it looks. Passionately do your best and you will soon reap the rewards of your hard work. That’s what I did and I can say that it has changed my life in ways that I could never have imagined.

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About the contributors
Sigrid Yamit
Filipino undergraduate student

Sigred Yamit was born and raised in the Philippines. Her family migrated to New Zealand when she was 16. She is now studying at the University of Canterbury to complete her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and Linguistics. "My perspective of the world has widened exponentially ever since I started studying here in NZ. I am forevermore grateful to have the opportunities to learn and experience something new each day."