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Source: Massey University

Ronghua Zhu has recently been awarded a scholarship recognising her success studying online

Ronghua Zhu did not let the COVID-19 border closures deter her from pursing her goal of studying at Massey University. The Massey Business School student had planned to begin studying in New Zealand earlier this year, but due to the pandemic she remained in China and instead commenced her studies online.

“The sudden outbreak of COVID-19 has had a huge on our society and students abroad have been deeply affected. When I began studying online, I found it very difficult. I was confused and agitated and there was just so much I had to get used to. But the patient explanation and guidance from my teachers really helped.”

Ronghua is the first student to begin the “2+2” cooperative education programme between Qingdao University in China and Massey University. She has studied at the Chinese Service Centre for Scholarly Exchange (CSCSE) training centre at Qingdao University for 2 years before transferring to Massey in July this year to complete her Bachelor of Business (Finance).

Unfortunately, border closures meant Ronghua couldn’t study on campus in New Zealand, so she decided to continue her studies online. While the student experience may not be quite as she imagined, she has worked hard to overcome the challenging circumstances and has recently been awarded a scholarship recognising her work ethic and achievements.

Massey and CSCSE established the scholarship award to support a high performing student in 2020 from one of the CSCSE Study Abroad Training Centre programmes. It aims to acknowledge the achievements of a student who has commenced their study with Massey online this year.

“It is a great honour to be awarded this scholarship and it motivates me to continue to work hard. I had a few challenges when I started my online classes but I really want make the most of the opportunity given to me. Although I cannot study at Massey this semester in person due to COVID-19, the online courses can still help students to study well and meet their needs as much as possible.”

While Ronghua initially struggled in the first few weeks adjusting to online classes, she found a good study plan helped her stay up to date with her classes.

“In China, teachers share all the knowledge in class and assign a lot of homework to help students afterwards. However at Massey, teachers only explain the key points in class. You really need to have already studied the textbooks and know the content of the class beforehand so you can understand the topic and ask questions. I also repeatedly watched videos of classes I did not understand and actively asked teachers and classmates questions to clarify things I was unsure about.”

Ronghua is grateful to receive the scholarship award and acknowledges the support she has received from her teachers in helping her succeed in her studies.

“This scholarship is affirmation that I made the right choice in beginning my studies with Massey online. It provides me with better learning conditions and I would like to thank Massey, the CSCSE and my teachers for giving me this honour.”