Tips on how to achieve a successful student life
I would like to share with you some helpful tips I learned as I started living my life here in this beautiful country.
Start with the right advice
I know an immigration adviser is not necessary when you start embarking on your dream. However, I chose to have one because I wanted real, genuine advice and not some fancy promises. My immigration adviser gave me up-to-date and truthful evaluations and explained to me the real life scenario here in New Zealand.
However, even if I had one, I still made all the critical decisions for myself – from the course I am going to take to the school I want to enroll to. I even got a free NZ SIM pack from their office which I used to contact them and most importantly for them to reach me! It’s my life and I’m taking command over it!
They maintained open communication with me and actively listened to all my queries. I still remember they even paid me a visit a few days after I arrived here in Rotorua with a welcoming pack of advice and a box full of chocolates. That’s what you call dedication and genuine care because their main office is three hours away in Auckland.
Take command - pick the best school and the best course for you
I know it’s hard to choose from the 8 different universities and 18 polytechnics/institutes of technology around the country because they all deliver quality tertiary education - New Zealand is notoriously famous for that! Start thinking about your professional direction and let that guide you with what course you would like to take.
Make sure that the school you’re looking at has a wonderful pastoral care/support service which you can tap into when you need it the most. I really love how Toi Ohomai helped me cope up with all the stresses I felt during the first few weeks of my stay here in Rotorua. They were always there when I needed them.
Study well…work hard…and travel if you can
Studying again can be quite stressful especially when you last attended schooling 10 or 15 years ago. What adds to the stress is that New Zealand education may simply be different from what you were accustomed back at home.
Take it easy and ask help if you need it – the school’s learning advisors and tutors are very willing to help you for sure. Work may be quite different from what you expect. Be realistic and always remember that you are still earning your qualification and because of that you have to start from the bottom.
Always remind yourself that your task of being here is to study. Work just gives you extra bucks so you can enjoy the luxury of buying something for yourself, eat at the many Kiwi restos in town, and traveling of course! Travel if you can! I strongly recommend that! It eases away the longing for home. In addition to that, work provides you with a unique opportunity to practice your English, learn how to work with Kiwis, and expand your network of friends.
Expand your network – make lots of friends!
New Zealand is fast becoming a multicultural country and I’m sure you will meet a lot of people of different nationalities. Learn to make friends and learn from them. I am a shy person really, but during my stay here in New Zealand, I have made a lot of friends and they have been a valuable source of support when I needed it.
So these are the tips which I found very useful. I hope it will also work and do wonders for you.
Good luck and may the odds be forever in your favour.
About the contributors
Philip is currently studying at Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology in Rotorua for a Level 8 Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Professional Studies (Mentoring and Leadership). He has a Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology and is a physician with specialty training in anatomic and clinical pathology. He earned his Masters of Science degree in the Philippines. He is currently finishing his PhD through distance learning alongside his NZ qualification.