As anchor on the poplular CNBC daily TV show 'Squawkbox', Christine Tan is a famous face in her native Singapore. And, as interviewer on 'Managing Asia', she is respected for her insightful questioning. Christine credits some of her confidence and ability to 'think outside the square' to the four years she spent at university in 'the City of Sails' (home of the America's Cup), Auckland.
"In New Zealand I was tutored and taught by professors and teachers who were open to new ideas and thinking. They welcomed fresh perspectives and that was a huge inspiration for my undergraduate and postgraduate years. The environment was so conducive to allowing me to think, rethink, question and change what I thought was the norm. It was a total mind opener for me."
It was also a life changer - Christine met her future husband while living in a six room student flat where a big group of friends often gathered for dinner or took a picnic basket to the nearby domain to sit in the sun. She marvelled at the stock, selection and size of the fruit at the local supermarkets, enjoyed 'the best fish and chips in the world' down at the beautiful beach near their flat, and became a loyal 'All Blacks' fan.
"Being a literature student, I also attended student plays and performances, both indoor and outdoor. One in particular, 'A Midsummer Nights Dream' was spectacular. It was staged outdoors and the characters ran in and around you, surrounding you and getting you involved in the story. Amazing. I could go on and on about the parties and the friends and the mentors I had.
I landed my job when a Singaporean career team came to Auckland to talk to students and I happened to talk to the Singapore Broadcasting Corporation (now known as the Television Corporation of Singapore) and they offered me a three-year contract as a newscaster/presenter.
To anyone thinking of studying in New Zealand, I would say don't hesitate - don't expect great shopping, but expect great warmth and smiles and if you think education in New Zealand is not as good as in the US or UK, think again. The teachers and professors I had were an international bunch who were very qualified and experienced. My mentor for my postgraduate studies in Sociology was an English Professor who was very insightful and incredibly brilliant."
Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city, with 1.3 million people.