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Home away from home: studying at NTEC

by Kseniia

If you ever felt alone, lost or buried under a pile of important, but so unfamiliar and scary documents, while staying in a new country, then you’re definitely not an NTEC student! These guys do their best to make newbies feel comfortable and relaxed in every single moment of their life (studies, job search, communication or even groceries to name a few). Frankly speaking, sometimes I even become a little scared that they will start eat and think for us (and, gosh, you can have everything, just leave me my food!). With the great pleasure I’m showing you the photos of the place where we’re going to spend nearest year. Exited?

NTEC is actually not a school itself, but a community of four different Institutes, each focused on delivering up-to-date knowledge and skills in demanded occupations. Isn’t it a great idea to combine schools with the same values and ambitious under one roof? Makes it easier for foreign students to choose and remain confident that they will leave school being qualified specialists with the good career opportunities. So, officially me and Alex are now the students of the National Institute of Education – this branch is in charge of  teaching Business students. Confusing? Be patient. I’ve just began:) Just joking, I’m about to finish with the boring part. All I wanted to add is that there are several NTEC campuses in New Zealand – they are located in Auckland. Tauranga, Christchurch, Hastings and Wellington (just opened!).

Unfortunately prior to our arrival we had almost zero information about our future school, cause there are heaps of photos and videos from the main campus (located obviously in Auckland), but absolutely nothing – about the one in our welcoming Tauranga. Trust me, Google Street View is probably the most accurate representation you could get so far. And we are now going to fix this defect – NTEC in Tauranga really deserves it! 

Our campus appeared to be a very cozy place fulfilled with vibrant colors, cheering messages and useful information (like job seeking boards). We have an absolutely "Friends"-inspired cafeteria  – hospitality students do train their barista skills in here and our only responsibility is to relax and grab a cup of coffee. Students can also use bright patio or recreation room to change scenery in between the classes.

As I have already mentioned, NTEC provides its students with everything they need – starting from the laptops for studies up to local phone numbers, IRD cards (essential one if you’re not a billionaire and plan to work in New Zealand), bank accounts, insurance, orientation course and 24/7 support with any questions.

But actually it’s not even facilities that make this place so special, but people working here. Approachable, positive, enthusiastic. Can’t remember the last time I hated weekends so much. And it has nothing to do with damn hard part-time work causing all my old sport injuries rise and shine again, but with the fact that there are no classes on weekends.

Meet amazing Hayley – our campus "mom" responsible for everything and everyone.

Actually, NTEC schedule is formed to provide us with the maximum opportunities for a part-time job (international students are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week and full-time during the vacations) – we’re only attending school three times per week. That means we can only master two papers per term. Me and Alex are starting with Organisational Change (exiting!) accompanied by Accounting and Finance (not so exiting! You know, how terrible I am at numbers) and followed by Business Communication, Marketing Management and other classes in the next terms. 

Of course, I could have predicted that educational methods in New Zealand are totally different from those we’ve got used to back in Russia. All those credits, for example – honestly, I had no idea what should they mean, is it a lot or a little, easy or difficult. The fact that we get 120 credits during the year in NTEC and received over 11 000 credits in a five years study back at home made everything even more confusing. But the main surprise was that education here is build on constant communication and team-work. We accomplish small tasks in a groups of 3 or 5 and will prepare collective presentations and researches as part of the exams. Yeap, our poor introvert souls couldn’t be more exited:)

Setting aside my personal complains and sufferings I can say that I’m looking forward to experience everything NTEC can offer, meet new people from all over the world and make this adventure one of the best memories in my life.

Me with Pam – fantastic Business tutor. Knows definitely how to keep courage and kindness no matter what. 

Skyla is in charge for students’ employment. A very helpful person! She helps everyone to write "CV of the year" and makes sure students are ready to impress local employees.

If you ever googled NTEC, Tauranga, you’ve probably met Gagan on Facebook – he knows everything about out campus and the life outside and is always eager to share!

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