Originally from Jinan, the capital of the Shandong province in China, Rachel Tian had always dreamt of studying abroad.  In 2015 she made the move half way around the world to study at Massey University in Palmerston North.

After completing her masters degree at Massey University, Rachel now works for UCOL as their International Student Success Advisor.  In her role, she works closely with international students from all over the world to settle into life in Palmerston North.

“I take care of their study performance, pastoral care and accomodation requests; I also design and deliver orientation for students.”

Watch the full story to find out more about Rachel’s career and lifestyle here in Palmerston North.

We asked Rachel…

What advice do you have for other international students?


“Get out of your comfort zone. As an international student from China it’s natural to make friends with other Chinese students, to live with them and hang out after class. There is nothing wrong with that. But, if you have the courage to make friends with locals it will be a great way to improve your English.”


“If you have the time after class, I would encourage you to join some volunteer programmes. It will not only give you the chance to make friends with people from all over the world, but will also greatly build your confidence and English skills. You can put these volunteer experiences in your CV, which will create a solid base for future job hunting.”

Want to find out more?

Hear from other international students on their experience living and studying in Palmerston North.

Discover more.

Manawatū Region

Facts & Figures

Total Population


International Students


Each year Palmerston North welcomes 3,000 international students to the region.

Average Weekly Rent


Average Salary


Parks & Reserves


Cafes & Restaurants