12 September 2018

Student speakers at NZIEC 2018

Yuki, Ada and Angel brought the “international student voice” into conference plenary sessions during a Q&A with MC Miriama Kamo. Here’s a recap of their experiences living and studying in New Zealand – both the highlights and challenges. 

NZIEC 2018 Angel and Miriama 6WelTec student Angelique Viola came from the Philippines to study accounting here, leaving behind a secure job and taking a leap of faith. After graduation, her goal is to find employment as an accountant in New Zealand.

Three things I’ve enjoyed about being an international student in New Zealand:

1. My tutors were supportive and made me feel comfortable to ask them questions. It helped me cope up with my studies and boosted my confidence. Other support, like the free shuttle bus provided by my school, was also a big help.

2. It is the first time that I encountered a study break during the school semester. That one-week break helped me to cool off before the final exams.

3. The Work-Ready Wellington programme helped me learn about New Zealand’s working environment. 

Three things I’ve found hard about being an international student in New Zealand:

1. Finding a part-time job related to the field I am studying.

2. The cost of transportation is quite expensive.

3. It’s challenging to find an institution that offers free seminars/training to enhance specific skills I am lacking. 

The one thing that would have made the biggest difference/improvement in my experience is…

I am taking a Graduate Diploma in accounting and it would be beneficial to have on-the-job style training and to learn software such as Xero or MYOB in the curriculum. This would definitely help me in my job hunt since most New Zealand employers are looking for experienced individuals.

 

Yuki at NZIEC 2018 10Yuki Sugito left Japan to study at Wainuiomata High School – party driven by the appeal of the All Blacks at the 2015 World Cup. He has become involved in kapa haka, competing in the national championships with his school group. He plans to study tourism management at the University of Otago, and also wants to teach Japanese to Kiwis.

Three things I’ve enjoyed about being an international student in New Zealand:

1. I like learning about New Zealand culture. At school, I participate in Kapa Haka and get to learn the significance of Māori traditions.

2. New Zealand school is less strict than Japan and I can relate to the teachers and build good relationships.

3. I can practice my English every day.

Three things I’ve found hard about being an international student in New Zealand:

1. Learning English is hard. In Japanese we don’t pronounce “r’s” and “l’s”. Also, the slang New Zealanders use is hard to get used to.

2. In New Zealand you have to self-manage your time. In Japan you “must” do things, in New Zealand you “should” do things, but no one makes you do it. You have to be motivated to achieve.

3. The NCEA system is different and hard. The system in New Zealand means if you don’t get your credits you can’t go to university. In Japan, the universities don’t operate like this.

The one thing that would have made the biggest difference/improvement in my experience is…

The classes for each subject in school are longer than in Japan. I wish New Zealand had at least a 10-minute break between classes. In Japan, classes are 50 minutes long with a small break in between which makes you feel recharged to learn the next subject.

Ada at NZIEC 2018 15

 

Jingxin 'Ada' Wang is originally from China, and studied a master’s degree in accounting at Victoria University of Wellington. She enjoys travelling and has embraced hiking since being in New Zealand.

Three things I’ve enjoyed about being an international student in New Zealand:

1. Excellent international student insurance – I don’t need worry about any accidents.

2. Help from the international students centre, they give you the best advice no matter what issues you struggle with. There are also lots of discounts for international students such as gyms, barbershops and restaurants.

3. I went to a Work-Ready course organised by Wellington Council, which made it easier for me to find employment after graduating.

Three things I’ve found hard about being an international student in New Zealand:

1. The Kiwi accent was very hard to understand at the beginning, and it was difficult for people to understand my own accent.

2. It’s hard to find delicious and authentic Chinese food in New Zealand.

3. Winter is my nightmare, and the weather here is always so rainy, windy and cold!

The one thing that would have made the biggest difference/improvement in my experience is…

I wish I had more support from my university about New Zealand etiquette and taboo. International students need to mingle into New Zealand culture and society and know the appropriate way to speak and to behave.

What's in it for me?