Why study to become a teacher in New Zealand?
Thinking of becoming a teacher? Discover why international students Claudia and Reneé chose to study education in New Zealand.
Study education in New Zealand and you’ll be on track to teach anywhere in the world.
Claudia Patrao, from India, and Reneé Balcazar, from Mexico, both gained a one-year Graduate Diploma of Teaching at Victoria University of Wellington.
Find out how their education has given them a head start in their teaching careers.
Opening doors to a teaching career
Reneé Balcazar has high hopes for her future after studying education in New Zealand.
“Studying in New Zealand has opened doors for me. I’ll be able to teach in England or Australia or many other countries around the world,” she says.
“New Zealand has very high standards, up-to-date teaching techniques and modern learning environments.”
New Zealand has very high standards, up-to-date teaching techniques and modern learning environments.
“My lectures were always fascinating, and the concepts and theories I learned were fundamental to my academic and social achievement.
“I also improved my writing and communication skills, and made friends from around the world.”
Reneé’s graduate diploma programme included two work experience placements at primary schools.
“I loved both my placements, and I’ve gained classroom management skills on top of everything I learned at university.”
Reneé has learned to think creatively, work in teams and express her own opinions.
Her lecturers taught her how to meet the diverse needs of each student, including students from different cultural backgrounds – one of the strengths of New Zealand’s future-focused education system.
Now she has graduated, Reneé is keen to teach at a New Zealand primary school. “New Zealand is great for international students because you may be able to stay on to work for up to three years after you finish studying.”
Gaining the skills to succeed
Claudia Patrao is looking forward to a global teaching career after studying education in New Zealand.
“Studying in New Zealand at a world-class university is definitely an advantage,” she says.
“The qualifications are transferable to other countries, like Canada and the UK. They also boost students’ CVs in their home countries.”
Claudia says studying education in New Zealand has given her the skills she will need in the classroom.
“Our lecturers encouraged us to challenge theories and form our own opinions, rather than following a textbook,” says Claudia.
It has helped me to hone valuable skills like reflection, critical thinking, creative thinking and research.
She particularly enjoyed learning in pairs and groups. “In my tutorial group we had discussions, talked through different scenarios and thought about how we could apply what we’ve learned to the classroom. It’s very different to just memorising information.”
The relationship between students and lecturers is much less formal in New Zealand than back home in India.
“Students in New Zealand are on a first-name basis with lecturers,” says Claudia. “My lecturers were amazing and extremely supportive.”
Claudia’s now looking forward to having a classroom of her own.
“I can use the methods I was taught at university to get the best possible results from my students and not limit their thoughts.”
How could you become a teacher in New Zealand?
New Zealand has lots of flexibility in the study pathways you can take to become a teacher.
You can study education at a New Zealand university, polytechnic or institute of technology.
- An undergraduate degree of three or four years
- A three-year undergraduate diploma (early childhood)
- A one-year graduate diploma or masters degree (for students who have already completed an undergraduate degree)
About the contributors
Linley Boniface is a contract writer for Education New Zealand. She is based in Wellington, her favourite city in New Zealand. A former journalist, Linley spent a year in Montreal, Canada, as a secondary school student.