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Couple who studies together, stays together

15 May 2014

Couple who studies together, stays together

Husband and wife duo, James and Macey Liang, may have struggled with their workload while studying but at least they knew exactly what their partner was going through.

Today, they both graduate with a Masters of Public Management with Merit from Victoria University of Wellington’s School of Government, and say they couldn’t have completed their qualifications without each other’s support.

The couple enjoyed being able to bounce ideas off each other over three years of part-time study, and James says he couldn’t imagine going through it with anyone other than Macey.

“It was great to have someone, especially someone so close, to talk about your learning and test how well you were understanding certain topics. It really enhanced our learning.”

According to Macey, getting married, having a family and then a career is the Chinese way of life, and she decided she could have it all when she fell pregnant halfway through her studies.

She took a trimester off when their daughter, Caitlin, was born nearly two years ago, but managed to catch up to James by increasing the number of papers she took each trimester and studying over summer.

“We both wanted to graduate at the same time, and I didn’t want to be studying for too long.”

James and Macey feel they have achieved more than they have missed in the last few years although they initially struggled to find a balance between working full-time, studying and spending time as a family. The routine they settled on was to spend time as a family at night, and the weekend studying.

“We were lucky enough to have my mother caring for our little girl while we worked and studied,” says James.

When graduating with their bachelor degrees, James and Macey didn’t take part in Victoria’s graduation parade but they won’t be missing out this time around.

“I want to feel like a student again, for possibly the last time, and to be with the others in our class who we learnt so much from,” says Macey.

“Study has made both our lives so much more fulfilling–it’s nice to be able to celebrate.”


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