A key factor for me in choosing the MBA programme was the industry-experienced lecturers that are both local and international, something that is rarely...Read more
A key factor for me in choosing the MBA programme was the industry-experienced lecturers that are both local and international, something that is rarely seen in many MBA programmes.
An academically good education from New Zealand universities and polytechnics was something I knew to expect, but I wanted more. AIS offered me a dynamic learning environment that supported, encouraged and challenged me.
I came to New Zealand from China with a formal qualification and successfully established my own small internet café business. However, I found that my business knowledge and way of critical thinking needed to be expanded to further my career. The industry knowledge, practical skills and behaviour that I learned while studying here all helped me to find employment in New Zealand, and I am using these skills in my role as a counsellor for a leading education and immigration agency. As a result of my journey with AIS I would strongly recommend students studying there as they will get a quality education.
Ramandeep Kaur was a successful businesswoman back in India, so Raman already had all the experience needed to be successful, but breaking into the New...Read more
Ramandeep Kaur was a successful businesswoman back in India, so Raman already had all the experience needed to be successful, but breaking into the New Zealand workforce was another matter.
Ramandeep found that the business administration programme at AIS offered her the opportunity for real world success in the form of an internship. With the help of the Student Careers Centre, Raman gained an internship as a consulting assistant for a recruitment agency, and she now values how study in New Zealand helped her cross not only countries, but also cultures when it came to living, working and studying in a new location.
“The PGDBA covers most of the important topics going into the New Zealand market, and the way they teach is also important, because it gives you a perspective of the New Zealand market, operations in New Zealand, strategic management in New Zealand - everything is pertaining to this market. The courses are very descriptive and detailed, covering all aspects that one needs to know if one wants to work here.”
That has certainly worked in Raman’s favour. Following her internship and the conclusion of her one-year programme, she secured a permanent position at the same recruitment agency as her internship. That experience, along with her Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration, was seen as a foundation stepping stone to where Raman is now.
From one extreme to another, Anna certainly travelled a long way to study at AIS. Born in Siberia, in northern Russia, she always knew that she wanted to...Read more
From one extreme to another, Anna certainly travelled a long way to study at AIS. Born in Siberia, in northern Russia, she always knew that she wanted to explore new countries and seek new adventures. It was a copy of the AIS prospectus that she spotted at a Russian agency for international studies that caught her eye and set her on her journey abroad.
Anna considered a few options, including Europe, Canada and Australia, but she had a particular interest in New Zealand having known of friends who had emigrated and made a life for themselves here.
“I was interested in New Zealand because I knew that I’d be allowed to work while studying part-time here. I knew I could get a job here and support myself.”
For Anna, being able to work and study at the same time were her key priorities. She already had a five-year bachelor degree in economics from the St Petersburg State University of Economics and Finance, and she wasn’t just starting out in her career. She knew there were opportunities abroad and was curious about how she could use her existing experience.
“I now work for ANZ Bank as a relationship services manager in commercial banking, helping clients to structure their financing. I started as a commercial services officer – or bank teller, as we used to call them – in 2008. I’ve always worked at the bank while completing my MBA.”
Along with being keen to use her overseas education and experience, Anna knew early on that she would have to gain New Zealand work experience and education in order to move up through the company.
“Work experience is not enough. To be promoted at the bank you need to have a degree in finance or accounting, and education is a big part of how high up you can go.”
Anna believes her AIS MBA has been a key part of where she is now in her career. Her role is in commercial banking, working with clients that have revenue turnover between one and five million dollars, helping to structure their financing. It is a position that enables her to combine all of her experience in marketing and customer service, along with her formal education in economics and business.
“AIS was the best choice for me. It was affordable and I didn’t have to pay for textbooks. The MBA programme structure is really well designed and it enabled me to work while I studied. And most importantly, the teachers are amazing – their biggest asset if you ask me.”
Applying classroom knowledge to real businesses
With a background in the service industry for close to seven years, Fasi has...
Applying classroom knowledge to real businesses
With a background in the service industry for close to seven years, Fasi has undertaken a Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration (PGDBA) at AIS in order to further his knowledge of how the service industry in New Zealand operates. Managing the business, while studying for a PGDBA, has given Fasi the chance to put theory into practice.
“The PGDBA programme at AIS has helped me to understand customer behaviour and gain practical knowledge into the New Zealand service industry.”
AIS PGDBA knowledge is essential
Fasi notes that many of the courses in the PGDBA programme have been relevant to managing the business in Auckland. To name a few, he mentions that he enjoys th Services Marketing course as it serves to provide insight on how best to market the restaurant in Auckland. He is also particularly interested in the Managing Information and Technology course as he agrees with the premise emphasising the importance of utilising social media and Information technology when running a competitive business.
AIS PGDBA programme
So what does Fasi have to say about studying for a PGDBA at AIS?
“AIS PGDBA has helped me to manage Paradise efficiently and effectively and most importantly be able to yield profits.”
We are delighted that Fasi has chosen AIS to further his studies and we wish him all the best with growing the business!
After completing his MBA qualification at AIS, Kenji Murakami was the first student to complete the newly introduced...
After completing his MBA qualification at AIS, Kenji Murakami was the first student to complete the newly introduced AIS MBA Internship Pathway Programme working at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), one of the world’s largest auditing firms. During his internship, Kenji worked as part of the Financial Risk management team at PwC. With over 10 years experience in an actuary role back in Japan, Kenji was delighted at the opportunity to work with the PwC Financial Risk management team as this allowed him to gain valuable insights into an actuary role in New Zealand as well as broaden his industry contacts within his field.
“During my internship with PwC, I was able to acquire a lot of knowledge about the actuarial regulation in New Zealand and my role in the team also allowed me to meet with a lot of other actuaries, including the President of the New Zealand Society of Actuaries (NZSA).”
The NZSA is the professional body for actuaries practising in New Zealand and is currently made up of around 300 members. Membership with the NZSA is very exclusive and can usually only be attained through an existing member’s recommendation. Kenji is currently awaiting confirmation to join as a member of the NZSA with recommendation from the President of the NZSA.
One of the major highlights for Kenji while working at PwC was being able to gain New Zealand working experience, which he feels is an important criteria when looking for a job in New Zealand. He believes the work experience attained during his internship will serve to increase his job opportunities here in New Zealand.
Kenji enjoyed doing the MBA programme at AIS and feels that the programme is able to provide him with the managerial skills and knowledge required to help further his career in his field.
“All the lecturers were so wonderful that my learning process was always highly stimulated. They answered my questions respectfully, they provided effective case studies for learning practically in their lectures, and they provided appropriate feedback of my assignment to me.”
With an impressive CV from working with one of the world’s largest auditing firm and credible references from his internship, there is no doubt we will be catching up with Kenji again soon to chat about his next role here in New Zealand!
Chandan Ohri completed his MBA at AIS in September 2004. Today he is a partner (part owner) and head of IT advisory at KPMG New Zealand, one of the...Read more
Chandan Ohri completed his MBA at AIS in September 2004. Today he is a partner (part owner) and head of IT advisory at KPMG New Zealand, one of the country’s leading providers of audit, tax and advisory services.
As a partner, Chandan is actively involved with KPMG New Zealand in the areas of operational strategy, business process design and re-engineering, supply chain optimisation, project management, and business intelligence. As the head of IT advisory, he is responsible for the growth of the firm's national IT advisory team of 75 specialists.
In addition to his position at KPMG New Zealand, Chandan is also the president at CPA Australia and a member of the MBA academic advisory committee here, at AIS.
Chandan left New Delhi, India, for New Zealand in late 2002 to give his family a brighter future.
“I looked at Australia, Canada and New Zealand, and I picked New Zealand for the quality of life.”
A short while later, in September, he enrolled at AIS to study MBA, a move that later proved instrumental in his success.
“I picked Auckland Institute of Studies because it offered a permanent course on weekends which allowed me to work Monday to Friday. I couldn't find anyone else who did that in New Zealand.”
His application was backed by a bachelor’s degree with honours in commerce from Shaheed Bhagat Singh College (University of Delhi) in addition to 9 years of work experience: progressing step by step from article clerk at S P Chopra & Co. (IGAF Polaris India), to assistant manager at HELLA, later to Consultant/Internal Auditor at Gurind India Private Limited, and finally to partner at Vinay Aggarwal and Associates.
Chandan sought MBA as a means to expand his knowledge across a range of disciplines which would later enable him to grow.
“All the 20 modules combined to give you the overall experience: together they help you with HR, finance, logistics, culture, cross-cultural behaviours, economics, etc. and that’s what you want, an overall experience. When you specialise in IT or accounting, you are restricted, which is good at a bachelor’s level, but when you’re going into postgraduate, masters, you want to bring all the different disciplines in an organisation into one.”
Not long into the course, feeling the need to advance, and to support his family, Chandan sought the help of the AIS student placement service; another key move.
“I was working full-time with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise as an online services consultant. I found that job through the AIS student placement service.”
One year into his duties at NZTE (while studying), and with the help of a recruitment agency, Chandan got the opportunity to join BDO New Zealand, part of BDO International, the fifth largest accountancy network in the world. He started as a senior consultant and worked there full-time while studying.
Chandan completed his MBA in September 2004 with an Enterprise Award for all round excellence.
“I was very happy and excited when I received that award. It was a great sense of achievement.”
All the while he kept his position at BDO New Zealand, moving from senior consultant to director/owner in 2010.
Having successfully carried out his duties at BDO, Chandan was approached by KPMG New Zealand.
“They wanted to grow their consulting practice at the time and I specialise in growing large consulting practices. In my previous role I had grown a consulting practice with BDO, so I was headhunted to come and grow the consulting practice for KPMG.”
We asked Chandan how MBA relates to his work at KPMG:
“It relates to international clients that we have. Then it is all about business led transformation and you get exposure to frameworks and case studies.”
His role as the head of IT advisory calls for certain challenges:
“One of the biggest challenges we have is finding the right people. We have a skills shortage in New Zealand, so I often have to go overseas to hire people.
“The other challenge is people and skills development. It’s a balance between work and further enhancing the skills of employees; they need to keep learning new things.”
Chandan has now built and secured a bright future for his family. His future plans concern his work:
“For me it’s continuing to grow. I’ve done New Zealand and now I’ve started to look at how can I grow the Asia-pacific region.”
Would Chandan recommend AIS?
“Absolutely. If you want flexibility in your studies, AIS would be the perfect place and the faculty are very good. They are a select group of university lecturers, consultants and industry executives. The classes for MBA are on the weekends, which is beneficial as you can work part-time Monday to Friday.
“I recommend people with five to ten years experience do an MBA, the real world exposure means you'll get a lot more benefit from it.”
His advice to current students and graduates of AIS:
“You must have a desire to grow. Take short steps, achieve the performance, make sure people recognise what you have achieved, and you will reach where you want to go very quickly.
“It’s how you take the learnings and apply them in your real life that matters.”
In addition to his MBA, Chandan is a certified information systems auditor (CISA, ISACA) and fraud examiner (ACFE), and holds FCA, CPA and CA certificates from ICAI, CPA Australia and NZICA respectively.
Emmanuel Ramos Ortile arrived in New Zealand, no stranger to starting afresh in an unfamiliar country. As a born and raised native Filipino, New Zealand...Read more
Emmanuel Ramos Ortile arrived in New Zealand, no stranger to starting afresh in an unfamiliar country. As a born and raised native Filipino, New Zealand is Emmanuel’s fourth country - he’s already worked for 12 years at multinational companies in both Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
What did New Zealand have to offer him? Well, for Emmanuel, he was hoping to just complete his postgraduate studies. Having accomplished his previous education with no major issues, he assumed that study in New Zealand wouldn’t be too different.
Emmanuel tells us what his first day at AIS was like - upon attending his first course, the professor turned around and blatantly announced that he was not there to hand out diplomas. He went on to explain to the class that, instead, his job was to teach, train and cultivate skills within these students, so they were all prepped for real-life situations in the working industry.
This changed Emmanuel’s mentality about study - he could see the passion and purpose that upheld the foundations of AIS.
“It was already a sign that the school is committed to maximising the potential of its students to the point of excellence.”
Emmanuel was amazed at the highly-skilled talents of the lecturers who taught him - they were some of the best experts of their respective industries, with doctorates under their belt, and many were also passing on their knowledge to bright-eyed students like Emmanuel across universities in New Zealand.
He recalls them laying out the most complex of lessons in the simplest of terms, just by using real-life examples from their experience in the workforce. Their approach to teaching was more than just reciting a textbook, but rather, focussed on how these students could build these skills and apply the information learnt to life in their respective industries - this made for both interesting and relevant learning.
“They will challenge your views, not to embarrass you, but to teach you to deviate from your linear thinking. And this had been a great source of improvement in the way I perceive my work now, and my life in general.”
He recounts how, even though with many years of prior experience, AIS taught him that he still had plenty to learn. This helped him to start not just a career, but also a life in New Zealand, as well as build up key skills needed to help with the transition from studying into the country’s workplace.
Currently, Emmanuel works as an Accounting Professional for Robert Walters NZ, Grand Winner of HR Asia Recruitment Awards 2015, and one of the largest specialist recruitment consultants in the world with 30 years of operations in 25 countries.
To date, Emmanuel still considers AIS the “pinnacle of his educational journey” - an investment that he highly recommends to others.
It's a long way from Teusaquillo, Bogota to Auckland, New Zealand but AIS Colombian Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration (PGDBA) student...Read more
It's a long way from Teusaquillo, Bogota to Auckland, New Zealand but AIS Colombian Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration (PGDBA) student Cristian Sequera has made his stay in New Zealand a family affair.
Cristian studied his first degree in International Affairs at the prestigious Universidad del Rosario in Bogota. After completing a graduate diploma in management, Cristian worked for Bancafe and later Davivienda banks in various finance and project management roles.
However, his focus has always been on overseas study. A desire to seek a more international outlook for his young family, along with a top quality education in an English language speaking country, sparked a search for education opportunities abroad. After narrowing the search down to Norway, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, he finally decided to come to Auckland, due to the good quality of life, low costs by comparison to the other countries and excellent climate.
Cristian discovered that as a postgraduate student in New Zealand his family could accompany him on his studies, and although the process of obtaining visas for himself, his wife and two kids was daunting initially, once complete the applications were approved in only three days.
On arrival in Auckland the family were impressed by the multicultural nature of Auckland, something not so evident in Colombia. Their first impression of the city was one of tranquility and calm - and a relaxed life style.
Cristian is enjoying his studies on the AIS PGDBA, and the fact that the courses are studied over the weekend allows him more time to devote to family life during the week. His eldest son Tomas (9) is currently attending Parnell District Primary School, while youngest son Martin (3) is at a local Kindergarten. Wife, Erika is a psychologist, has an open work visa and is currently attending English classes downtown. The family live in a comfortable apartment in the city, close to all transport links.
Despite the huge challenge of organising a major life change for himself and his family, Cristian is very happy with AIS and progress made so far.
“AIS is a well organised, responsible and multicultural institute. People are extremely kind and disposed to help. The MBA, marketing and administration team are excellent, and the teachers with their mix of practical experience and industry connections have a perfect background for teaching.”
With his excellent background in finance, project management and compliance, including experience working with the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), on graduation with an AIS PGDBA Cristian’s employment prospects in Auckland are excellent; and we wish him and his family Real World Success in their new lives in New Zealand.
Nisha graduated from AIS with a Graduate Diploma in International Business in late August 2014. She is currently enjoying her stay in New Zealand on a...Read more
Nisha graduated from AIS with a Graduate Diploma in International Business in late August 2014. She is currently enjoying her stay in New Zealand on a 12-month Post Study Work visa, working as a Delivery Center Consultant at IBM (Concentrix) on behalf of Air New Zealand. In addition to her AIS Graduate Diploma, Nisha has over nine years of experience working within the hospitality and hotel industry, later progressing up to the level of marketing executive, along with a bachelor degree in IT and aviation and air hostess training.
Nisha came to New Zealand from West Bengal, India in June 2012 with an offer of place to study Graduate Diploma in Business (Marketing) at a nearby tertiary institution. Having completed five papers there, Nisha ran into visa difficulties due to course availability issues which left her with two options: either stay in Auckland without student work rights, or return to India for six months, then come back and start over. In either case, she would have to give up her job.
“Not a comfortable position. Basically if I went back to India, I would have to leave everything behind. I was already working in New Zealand which I would’ve had to leave and I already had a place to stay which I would’ve had to, again, leave, which was not very suitable. I was under pressure.”
Luckily, through a recommendation from friends, Nisha met AIS.
“How I met AIS was really interesting. My friend said we should go and ask around if we can cross-credit. The first uni was AIS – it was near.”
“Mike Roberts (Vice President) really guided me very well. Basically being here, still working, keeping my job and getting my graduate diploma was all his credit. If not for getting support from Mike, I don’t know whether I would be still standing. He advised what papers I needed to take and how I should be going ahead. He was very supportive because in the state I was, I was already losing my hopes left and right. To put all that together in one place is really supportive.”
“I was really lucky to have my friend direct me to AIS.”
Nisha successfully cross-credited the graduate diploma courses from the other institution, and went on to study two semesters at AIS.
“From the six months being here, I found the lecturers to be very helpful and open, and the study is really good – short but effective, it’s just three months but you get to learn a lot. AIS are really supportive with international students and have a better, stress-free environment.”
After graduation, Nisha got her 12-month Post Study Work visa and is currently looking to settle in New Zealand.
“My first choice is to stay in New Zealand – it’s a good, beautiful country with high living standards.”
“At this point I’m looking to stick with the current job and keep applying for better marketing positions, looking toward the corporate sector. I need a bit of time to put my things together.”
“I’m looking forward to working in corporate marketing with fixed hours, having more time for myself. Customer service and marketing – these are the two main areas.”
Before I attended AIS, I was working for Paradise International Hotel in Tonga as an accounts manager. Having worked for several years in accounts, I...Read more
Before I attended AIS, I was working for Paradise International Hotel in Tonga as an accounts manager. Having worked for several years in accounts, I realised that for me to get ahead I needed an accounting qualification.
Choosing New Zealand and AIS to further my education in accounting was the right decision for me. I was fortunate to receive a Pacific Island Educational Scholarship. My two years studying were the most pleasurable and memorable throughout my study history. The institute has a strong faculty and high-quality academic staff. I had the most caring, intellectually stimulating and responsive lecturers and tutors. They have equipped me with the knowledge, skills and the professionalism that I needed for my career, and the critical thinking that I needed for lifelong development of my knowledge in accounting and the business sector.
I am now employed at New Zealand Industrial Specialists Limited as an accounts manager. Being educated at AIS helped me find a good job in New Zealand. I am so proud to apply what I have learned to my employment today.
Vivi completed her Bachelor in International Business at AIS in early May 2013 and currently works at Amicus Law, an Auckland-based law firm, as a legal...Read more
Vivi completed her Bachelor in International Business at AIS in early May 2013 and currently works at Amicus Law, an Auckland-based law firm, as a legal executive with additional marketing responsibilities.
Originally from Guangdong, China, Vivi enrolled at AIS in May 2011 as a domestic student by cross-crediting her previous qualification. The decision to study Bachelor’s at AIS was made with encouragement from her parents and by recommendation from her friends already studying here.
“I was focused on working and getting my residency. I wasn’t concentrating on getting my degree, but my parents wanted me to finish it. That’s when I picked AIS and I chose to study part-time.”
“I had about 5-6 friends already studying at AIS who were in a similar situation and they said that if I wanted to finish my degree, then AIS is the best way. Other universities in Auckland didn’t offer as many cross credits so that was the best choice for me.”
Being a non-native English speaker, Vivi faced difficulties studying in her first semester at AIS. Fortunately, AIS requires all students to take a compulsory English Study Writing course early on to address this concern.
“I was struggling at the time but after that course I was thinking yes, I’ve made the right choice.”
“I really enjoyed studying in the English class. I thought that was very useful and my previous university didn't provide such a subject. I enjoyed that part very much. It was a very good step, even though I had been in NZ for so many years, sometimes you forget things and that's a really good step to help you pick up the knowledge and skills to write essays etc. I thought that was a very good experience when I was at AIS.”
Vivi joined Amicus Law in January 2014, a few months after finishing her qualification at AIS. The knowledge she gained from studying for her Bachelor’s degree proves useful in her daily activities at the firm.
“Especially the last subject in my programme, Applied Management Project, because that's the thing where you combine all your knowledge and do a project by yourself. Definitely useful.”
In addition to her Bachelor’s degree, Vivi holds a Diploma in Tourism and Travel Services Management from AUT, a NZ Diploma in Business, and a Diploma in Tourism and Hospitality from AWI International Group. Prior to her position as a legal executive, Vivi worked as an overseas trade executive at Transnational Exports Limited, a sales associate at Luxottica group, a store manager at InTouch Digital Communications, and as a director’s assistant at Vault Realty.
In the future Vivi plans to expand on her marketing knowledge and turn it into a career.
“I actually want to do more marketing work with students, so this job is a good start. In the future I would like to look at doing marketing for schools. That’s my goal or vision for the next 5 years.”
Becoming a Chartered Accountant is a dream for many around the world, with much of the skill set and knowledge common across countries and borders. For...Read more
Becoming a Chartered Accountant is a dream for many around the world, with much of the skill set and knowledge common across countries and borders. For Karina, this goal is very real, but she never thought she would be planning to be a Chartered Accountant in New Zealand rather than her native Russia.
Karina completed a Bachelor of Accounting at Plekhanov Russian University of Economics before deciding to pursue a bridging course in New Zealand so that she could use her accounting skills to best effect. With AIS having a leading reputation with international students, she enrolled in the Graduate Diploma in International Business.
Karina understood that to become an accountant anywhere in the world, she would need to learn about other areas of business and AIS allowed her to explore these new knowledge areas with confidence and clarity. Above all, it was the supportive environment and individual focus at AIS which stood out for Karina during her time studying.
“If I required assistance with anything, I could easily go to someone at AIS for help and receive the support - whether something to do with the course or personal matters.
“For example, I wanted to do more accounting courses, rather than the traditional business ones, so I went and spoke to the Academic Head of Programme. The department supported me through this process and advised me about the best courses to take for my future. They were actually trying to personally help me.”
Karina believes that the value of supporting individuals was also reflected in the classroom environment at AIS. She recalls one occasion when some of the students were falling behind with an assignment. To ensure that everyone had the best chance of answering the questions, the department extended the due date - working individually with those who were struggling.
“Not many people do that. Most of the teachers at AIS are more than happy to help because they want you to do well.
“Teachers get to know students on a personal level. They knew I wanted to become a Chartered Accountant so would suggest job placements and opportunities to build my wider network in New Zealand. When you come to a new country, you have plenty of questions so it is nice to have support on hand.”
Karina believes that her time at AIS has provided the ideal base for her ongoing career as a Chartered Accountant. At the moment, Karina is working at an accounting firm in Auckland, using her skills in the payroll department. Having already been promoted during her time at the business, Karina has high hopes of reaching her Chartered Accounting dream in the coming years.
Aditya completed his Level 6 Diploma in Hospitality Operations Management at AIS in May 2014. Today he works full-time at Skycity in VIP Gaming Services...Read more
Aditya completed his Level 6 Diploma in Hospitality Operations Management at AIS in May 2014. Today he works full-time at Skycity in VIP Gaming Services as a food and beverage gaming attendant serving Platinum and Black status players at EIGHT, Platinum Room and VIP Black.
“My parents always wanted me to be a doctor, but back in the days I used to imagine this glamorous world of hospitality whenever I used to go to fancy hotels. That’s what I wanted to do. And they supported me. It’s just that I’m a people person. I love people.”
Aditya is originally from Jammu and Kashmir, India. Having finished school he moved to Aurangabad to study for BA (Honours) in Hotel Management at the Institute of Hotel Management (IHM-A). Two years into the course he felt it wasn’t right.
“I always wanted to go abroad and study. I wanted to go to an environment which was a little laid back and allowed me to do what I really wanted to do.”
New Zealand was an easy choice due to his agent’s recommendation, family consensus and further research:
“The more I discovered about New Zealand, the more I realised that this is where I really wanted to go: there’s a bit of wilderness, not too much noise, and it’s laidback.
“Now for the same price I’m actually getting overseas experience.”
Aditya originally enrolled at AIS in May 2014 to study Bachelor of Hospitality Management. Two weeks into his course at AIS he got picked up by SkyCity.
“My roommate applied at SkyCity through the SkyCity Careers website, he had been working there for a few months when I moved in. He asked me 'why don’t you try?'
“I went to the AIS Student Job Search Centre for help with my CV. It was really quick and I came out quite organised. Even though I didn’t have New Zealand work experience, my CV clearly said exactly what I’ve done in the past and it matched what they were looking for at the time.”
Aditya got two scholarships in his two years at AIS; Academic Merit and Academic Excellence.
“It was the best thing I ever had! I had never got scholarships in my life before!”
At the end of his second year he took the Level 6 Diploma qualification as an exit route from BHM to allow for more hours at SkyCity.
“As a bartender I attend the niche market of SkyCity. Our main objective is host responsibility. We are the only place in New Zealand where alcohol is served 24/7 right now and we have been trained in a very professional manner on how to treat guests. At times there is zero tolerance even if you spend 100 million dollars.”
We asked Aditya if his studies at AIS relate to his current position at SkyCity.
“Of course! In a lot of ways. Specifically, food and beverage service operations, and food and beverage management. Both are similar to what I am doing right now.
“Business Communication gave me a lot of confidence. I never used to think I had good enough English to communicate. I now work with people from many nationalities – for some, eye contact is okay, some not – that’s what I was taught, and also how to maintain relationships with colleagues.
“I can relate to a lot of subjects, but it happens within a flick of a second. Hospitality is not all about the books.
“My marketing lecturer was straight forward with how things actually work in the real environment, outside of the books. And the Academic Head of Programme also gave us advice on how to climb the hierarchy ladder and how things actually work in the real world. He knows his stuff.”
We asked Aditya if he would recommend AIS.
“I would certainly recommend AIS! AIS helped me develop and gave me independence.
“This country has given me a lot. Every morning I wake up and there’s always some plan of action – I never used to know what my timetable was for the day, but now I have a very organised life.”
Aditya is planning to complete his Bachelor Degree in the near future.
“I need my degree. It means something. And thanks to my diploma and job at SkyCity, I will pay for it with my own money. I’ve got part of it saved up already.”
“I want to be a manager and eventually I want to own my own restaurant.”
Born into a family of travel experts, there was no doubt that Paloma would one day find herself in a country halfway around the world from her native...Read more
Born into a family of travel experts, there was no doubt that Paloma would one day find herself in a country halfway around the world from her native Brazil.
Moving to a foreign country to set up a future can be tricky, but Paloma explained that this process was made simple by the team at Auckland Institute of Studies. Before landing in New Zealand, Paloma was in close contact with several members of the AIS team and this gave her the confidence and peace of mind to know everything was taken care of. This supportive environment was a key value for Paloma starting her AIS journey.
“Since my first contact with AIS, I have always got the support I needed. I received all my orientation emails, class schedules, timetables and instructions while I was still in Brazil. As such, I felt very safe and confident to come to New Zealand and study at AIS.”
For Paloma, the Graduate Diploma in Hospitality Management programme at AIS is the perfect stepping stone for a long-term career in New Zealand. Complementing her work as a waitress at the Rendezvous Hotel, Paloma is very confident that what she is learning in the classroom can be translated easily into her employment situation. The Hospitality Management programme includes a vast balance of practical and theoretical knowledge - offering field trips, guest speakers and teachers with years of experience - everything that Paloma had hoped for from AIS.
“It is really good to be able to complete my studies in one year, rather than two or three years. However, we still have a whole variety of opportunities to learn about the hospitality industry and get more experience at the same time.”
Paloma noted that the Graduate Diploma in Hospitality Management is also great as it is NZQA-approved. This means it is well-respected in the New Zealand employment sector and is a good marker on Paloma’s CV.
As such, Paloma believes it will set her in good stead once she graduates.
“My plans are to establish myself in New Zealand and build a good career in the hospitality industry.”
In New Zealand we certainly love our coffee and our café culture. Emma is a great example of how this can open doors of opportunity that you may...Read more
In New Zealand we certainly love our coffee and our café culture. Emma is a great example of how this can open doors of opportunity that you may never have imagined.
Coming from China in 2009 to gain overseas education, Emma is now a manager of a Columbus Coffee café in central Auckland. She manages six staff members along with all the day-to-day operations of a busy hospitality venue.
Emma completed her BHM in 2014 and credits her AIS studies as a key factor in her rapid progression from part-time barista, to supervisor and now manager.
“In the AIS programme we learned not just the theory of hospitality management – we were also given the opportunity to practise what we learned. For example, as part of our food and beverage paper, we had the option to organise a function. We had to calculate the budget, decide the menu, prepare gifts, and work with the kitchen staff to plan the menu. It was full-on, just like real life.”
When asked why Emma chose AIS, her answer comes easily. “The AIS bachelor programme includes so many aspects of a hospitality career. We studied marketing, accounting, customer services, and employment. These are all things I need to know in my role as a manager now.”
Having studied other programmes in New Zealand when she first arrived, including foundation studies and early childhood education, Emma was pleased to learn that she could cross-credit some of her completed studies and shorten her length of time in the classroom.
“At AIS I was able to complete my studies quicker and get to work sooner. Not only that, but my studies and my work experience also helped me get a six-month internship position with Hyatt Hotels.”
With all of this under her belt in such a short period of time, Emma has only just started. She has plans next to pursue studies at the master’s level in hospitality management.
Ask most people around the world where the Lord of the Rings saga was filmed and many would be able to identify New Zealand. Not only did the film series...Read more
Ask most people around the world where the Lord of the Rings saga was filmed and many would be able to identify New Zealand. Not only did the film series put the New Zealand film industry on the map, it also helped to attract international students with a passion for film to our shores, with Ryu being a great example.
Unfortunately for Ryu, the New Zealand film industry is quite small so finding full time employment proved difficult. After nearly 12 months of part-time work and job searching, Ryu decided to switch her focus from film to IT. As a growing industry, there are positive opportunities to gain experience and earn good money as well.
AIS ticked all the boxes for Ryu, including the opportunity to join earlier thanks to the institute’s three-semester structure. Ryu found the GDIT very beneficial to her learning and welcomed the smaller class sizes compared to other universities. This allowed her to engage with tutors on a personal level and absorb key information about system analysis, databases, database engineering and design.
“I would recommend AIS if you are really determined, if you really know where you are going and if you have your goals set already.”
After her graduation, Ryu began working as a test analyst for Gentrack - a business that produces software for the utility industry across the globe. While moving from the film industry to the IT sector is a massive shift, the experience she is gaining with Gentrack is invaluable, initially working on a water billing program solution in Fiji.
“I haven’t been in an office environment before. In the film industry people are running around, yelling and I’m used to it, but here people talk very quiet and they use formal language.”
Ryu is confident that the GDIT course content will stand her in good stead in the IT sector moving forward, and she urges future students to work hard during their time at AIS.
“Don’t just rely on the papers you study; you’ve got to learn as much as you can. Use YouTube and other sources, and go to seminars or join an association. I’m a member of IITP so I can learn things from industry leaders.”
My journey into the IT industry started at AIS. The quality and practical aspects of the programme were the reasons I chose to study the Bachelor of...Read more
My journey into the IT industry started at AIS. The quality and practical aspects of the programme were the reasons I chose to study the Bachelor of Information Technology.
The programme offered me a great opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge and understanding of how the IT industry affects society, and practical skills in the IT field. The knowledge and skills I gained at AIS helped me develop confidence, which in turn enabled me to secure a good position with one of the most promising IT companies in Auckland.
A large part of my success can be attributed to my lecturers who were very supportive throughout my studies at AIS.
Rieko completed her Graduate Diploma in Information Technology at AIS in December 2010. She is currently working as a software engineer at a large New...Read more
Rieko completed her Graduate Diploma in Information Technology at AIS in December 2010. She is currently working as a software engineer at a large New Zealand-based software development company, Olympic Software. Rieko is involved in developing a complex online platform for Countdown Supermarkets as part of a long-term collaboration between Olympic Software, Woolworths Australia and Progressive Enterprises. Rieko had no prior experience in software development before she enrolled at AIS.
Rieko originally studied Law at Chuo University in Tokyo, Japan. Shortly after graduating she took a position in sales at Mitsubishi UFJ Nikos (now part of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group), a large Japanese credit company. Three years later Rieko changed jobs to work as a project manager for Yahoo Japan. This role brought her closer to IT, but not as a developer.
Due to the nature of her role, Rieko often worked twelve hours a day, five days a week; sometimes she worked extra on the weekends. This put a lot of stress on her and her husband.
“The Japanese work environment is very stressful. We go to work around 10am and you go back home around 10-11pm Monday to Friday. Sometimes you need to work more than that. It's a lot of stress.”
During her fifth year at Yahoo Japan, Rieko started to seriously consider moving overseas in search of a better work environment. Having found the U.S. too strict, Canada too cold and Australia too big, she settled on New Zealand as the most beautiful and serene destination. Auckland, being the largest city in New Zealand, seemed like a good place to stay.
Looking to start a career in software development, Rieko enrolled at AIS in September 2009 to study GDIT via the English for Academic Purposes Stage II (EAP II) pathway.
AIS was the only tertiary education provider she could find with a native Japanese counsellor on campus and this helped her gain the confidence to speak English. The twelve weeks she spent in the EAP class helped her learn to write academic English. Rieko passed the internal English test at AIS and went on to study for GDIT.
“The GDIT is short and after graduating I could get a post-study work visa. It’s good to study just one year and get offered a work visa.
“I wanted to do the GDIT and learn about software development and then change my career to a developer. I studied law but luckily with the GDIT, it doesn’t matter what you’ve study previously.”
Thanks to her GDIT, Rieko achieved a deeper understanding of IT and learned to take a structural approach to development.
“I had never studied IT before; I kind of learned through work experience. After finishing the GDIT, I can think about it more deeply. It’s good to learn about databases. This was a very good turning point for me. After the databases class, I think about database structure before programming.”
Rieko applied for a software engineer position at Olympic Software towards the end of her final semester at AIS. One month and two interviews later she joined as a full-time staff member. Later in the year, Olympic Software supported her application for permanent residency. Rieko then supported her husband’s application. Both now live in Auckland and work full-time as developers.
“If you try hard, you can get a lot from this GDIT programme.”
Dmitriy completed his Graduate Diploma in Information Technology (Software Development) at AIS in December 2011. He now works as a junior developer at...Read more
Dmitriy completed his Graduate Diploma in Information Technology (Software Development) at AIS in December 2011. He now works as a junior developer at Foster Moore, a dedicated registry development company based in Auckland.
Dmitriy received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Perm State University, Russia, in 2009 and spent the next 2 years working as a tester for Prognoz, an international business intelligence software vendor. While at Prognoz, he worked on several high-profile projects for large organisations such as the World Bank, the World Health Organization, and 3M. At the same time Dmitriy was also studying for his master’s degree. Early in 2010, realising his growth potential within the IT industry, Dmitriy started to look for opportunities overseas.
“My city was not enough for me, I wanted something more. I wanted a change of environment and my parents gave me a chance to go overseas.”
New Zealand was an easy choice due to the country’s booming IT sector, easy-going lifestyle and unique environment.
“I was confident I’d get a job in New Zealand: I’ve got experience from Russia and I knew I’m quite capable in what I’m doing.”
“New Zealand is way more relaxed. I like the lifestyle. It’s a very easy-going country and that’s what I really like in here; that and of course the nature.”
Dmitriy was looking to start a career in software development and needed a relatively short and a practical course:
“I needed something which will specialise me in development, in a year.”
Having visited the offices of his local agent in Russia, Dmitriy had a choice of 4 Auckland education providers.
”I chose AIS. One reason was price. AIS was also much more practical. I just haven’t really seen anything as appropriate for me as in AIS.”
The next year Dmitriy spent learning a specific set of practical skills required to start a successful career in software development:
“I learned test cases. I’ve never done them in my previous job. The first couple of months at Foster Moore I was just doing test cases. Also I learned databases. I’ve had 4 subjects in databases. That definitely helped me because now I’m working as a developer and I always work with views and indexes. And of course OOP, object-oriented programming, I got it all from there. That was the reason why I chose AIS – because I really wanted to learn some skills.”
Dmitriy finished his GDIT in late 2011. After a short trip back to Russia he set out to find employment within the IT sector: it only took a month.
“I got a list of all IT companies in New Zealand and sent them emails. Foster Moore was one of the first to respond. I came to the interview and almost immediately I was hired into a full-time permanent role.”
Dmitriy has now settled into his permanent role at Foster Moore, got his New Zealand residency and is looking to further specialize in software development.
Would Dmitriy recommend AIS?
“Yes, for sure. Especially if you need a specialisation and you already know what you want, then AIS would be a good choice. Good value for money and good quality. AIS gives you enough knowledge and a good degree to find a job.”
Kalolaine completed her Bachelor of Tourism Management at AIS in December 2012 and currently works at Pasifika Consulting, an Auckland-based employment...Read more
Kalolaine completed her Bachelor of Tourism Management at AIS in December 2012 and currently works at Pasifika Consulting, an Auckland-based employment support agency, as an employment placement officer.
Originally from Nuku’alofa, Tonga, Kalolaine first got a taste of New Zealand education at a young age, while studying at Auckland Girls Grammar School. She later returned to Tonga and worked full-time as a check-in agent at Fua’amotu International Airport; this was her first ever job and her first exposure to customer service. While working at the airport, Kalolaine studied evenings at the University of South Pacific to complete her Diploma in Management Studies. To add to the busy schedule, it was around this time that she also started a family.
Having worked in customer service for four years, and having gained her management qualification, Kalolaine moved on to work as an office administrator for Nautilus Minerals Tonga, an underwater mineral exploration company headquartered in Toronto, Canada. Two years later, on work leave, she took her family to New Zealand for a vacation.
“That’s when we started thinking. We decided to continue on with my studies to have a better future not only for myself, but for my children and my family.”
Kalolaine enrolled at AIS in May 2011 by cross-crediting her previous qualification from the University of South Pacific. Her husband came along and worked in New Zealand to support her studies paying by instalments; the kids stayed back in Tonga and were looked after by her family. It wasn’t easy.
“I didn’t know I was going to make it. It was hard financially and emotionally.
“The supportive environment at AIS helped me strive and succeed in my studies; and thinking of my kids and my background is what encouraged me to do well.”
She studied BTM for one and a half years instead of the regular three thanks to cross credits.
“It was a good experience for me. I had previous customer service experience, but studying the BTM helped me develop my skills further. It enabled me to work better with customers and unlock my full potential.”
Upon graduating, Kalolaine began her search for work. This didn’t last long. Her cousin recommended that she apply for a position at Pasifika Consulting.
“I said, well, I’ll just give it a try.
“They called me the next day and told me to come in for an interview.”
She passed the interview stage. The next step was to give a presentation. Luckily, Kalolaine already had a lot of experience at AIS.
“I didn’t expect to have to give a presentation, but it was easy for me because of what I’d learned at AIS.
“It was the highlight of my interview. They hadn’t seen anyone with the skills and confidence that I had when I presented, and I got the job.
“When I talked with the interviewers later, they said most people who come for an interview don’t do well at the presentation stage. But AIS equipped me well with what I needed to know.”
Six months into her employment, Kalolaine asked the company to help her with a job offer.
“The answer I got was yes. I could do it straight away. I got my residency before my job search visa expired."
Her husband also has a stable job and now their two children have joined them in New Zealand.
“Now that I’m here, all the hard work has been worth it.”
Being able to apply skills acquired from a degree towards a fulfilling job is something that many people aim to achieve. For Anandita Danaatmadja - also...Read more
Being able to apply skills acquired from a degree towards a fulfilling job is something that many people aim to achieve. For Anandita Danaatmadja - also known as Nandy - that’s exactly what he accomplished. Nandy is the current North Island Regional Operations Manager, for the New Zealand branch of Magic Memories, a tourism photography business. In this industry, Nandy has flourished from starting as an intern to now being an experienced regional manager.
After some thorough research into studies for tourism, Nandy found AIS to be the best bet. He chose it as it’s one of the largest private institutions in New Zealand, and it’s also NZQA-approved. Another bonus was that the graduate diploma spanned only a year - the perfect stepping stone towards a career in the industry.
Looking back on his studies, Nandy holds the supportive environment at AIS in great regard.
“I had a really good lecturer who helped students by drawing on experience and providing tips and tricks on how to work in New Zealand in a real-life situation.”
Nandy especially appreciates the familiarisation visits that the lecturer took them on as part of the degree - glow worm caves and Waiheke Island were two examples, providing a first-hand insight into how tourism in New Zealand operated on a daily basis.
To further emphasise the supportive environment, Nandy considers the short-term industry practice that comprised part of his year-long studies an important module of his diploma. For Nandy, this was completed at Magic Memories, a place where he was working part-time, thus combining work and study in his programme. This industry practice, along with a research module, set up the fundamental knowledge that Nandy needed to understand exactly how a real work environment in New Zealand would be like.
Having achieved his graduate diploma at AIS, Nandy was now able to work full-time. Due to both his work experience at Magic Memories, and the newly-acquired qualification, he was quickly promoted to a managerial position at the Wellington branch.
From there, promotion followed promotion, until his role expanded into the regional manager job he has today. However, Nandy remains completely humble as he talks about his real world success.
“AIS is some kind of key, to unlock opportunities and doors, to have a career and live in New Zealand. It’s not an easy path, but it’s one of the stepping stones to get there.”
Originally from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Faisal came to New Zealand as a companion to his sister. The Saudi government awarded his sister a scholarship for...Read more
Originally from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Faisal came to New Zealand as a companion to his sister. The Saudi government awarded his sister a scholarship for higher education studies in New Zealand, and part of the funds covered Faisal’s English studies for one year. Having tried AIS General English for three months, Faisal extended to one year.
The decision to choose New Zealand was made simple:
“I was offered me the opportunity to go to New Zealand. If you want a good job, study in New Zealand because New Zealand universities are very, very good.”
Faisal chose AIS for himself and his sister after a recommendation from friends.
“All my friends told me – if you want good English language in New Zealand, go to AIS.
“There are not many Saudi students at AIS. In the city there are lots of Saudi students. They all speak Arabic, all the time. But students at AIS come from different countries – everyone speaks English everywhere.”
Faisal and his sister live with a homestay family close to AIS. Both are enjoying their stay in New Zealand.
“I have a best friend who is Kiwi. The New Zealand weather is nice, the people are friendly, nice shopping and … everywhere I go, everything is good. I like staying in New Zealand. The first three months I felt sad, but now I don’t want to go to any other country.”
Martin is a proud Kiwi who, after a couple of years teaching overseas, is happy to be home working in New Zealand. He is currently a full-time...Read more
Martin is a proud Kiwi who, after a couple of years teaching overseas, is happy to be home working in New Zealand. He is currently a full-time elementary-level teacher at the New Zealand Institute of Science and Technology. His students encompass a broad range of nationalities, ranging in age from their 20s to their 70s, so every day is varied and exciting.
This variety suits his high-energy, enthusiastic style of teaching that Martin developed teaching for two years in Japan. He had been fascinated by the Japanese language and culture since secondary school, and subsequently earned his Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in English and Japanese at the University of Auckland.
Teaching for the first time overseas, Martin admits, “Teaching overseas was overwhelming. It was largely trial and error as it was my first teaching job. This was before I studied at AIS. I wish I had done my CertTESOL before I went to Japan.”
When he returned from teaching in Japan, Martin’s studies at AIS gave him a huge amount of experience teaching in the classroom before venturing out into the workforce. “In the CertTESOL programme at AIS, every week we were teaching anywhere from 10 to 30 students. We then got feedback and suggestions for improvement from our peers and from three tutors. So there was lots of opportunity to learn and improve.”
When he did start applying for work, it was AIS on his CV that got the attention of his current employer. “They saw that I had studied at AIS and knew straight away that I had enough practical experience.”
“AIS was a great place for me to further my studies as I could start right away. I also had a huge amount of teamwork and support from the other students and the teachers when things got busy and stressful. And the institute has a great reputation with employers. As a result I have been able to find teaching positions at a few different places. I highly recommend it!”
As you might expect from a teacher, when asked how she feels about her studies at AIS, Laura gives it a grade out of 10 – a perfect 10! Laura...Read more
As you might expect from a teacher, when asked how she feels about her studies at AIS, Laura gives it a grade out of 10 – a perfect 10! Laura recently completed Upper Intermediate level English, and is looking forward to completing IELTS studies so she can become a fully registered New Zealand teacher.
She has a master’s degree in preschool teaching from a university in Italy, so is looking forward to further advancing her career here in New Zealand.
Laura chose AIS because it enabled her to study English with the visa she had, while looking for work. She is now a preschool teacher at an early childcare centre, and credits her English Language studies at AIS as the main reason she was able to find employment.
“My grammar and speaking really improved during my time at AIS. There is an individual focus for each student and I received a lot of support. The class sizes were small so this helped a lot in getting attention from the teacher. My English teacher even checked my CV before I applied for my job and acted as my referee. My dream when I was in Italy is now being realised.”
I chose to study with AIS for a number of reasons, the main one being that it is a very well-established language school in Auckland. My mother has taught...Read more
I chose to study with AIS for a number of reasons, the main one being that it is a very well-established language school in Auckland. My mother has taught here for some 10 years, which is a strong recommendation. The joy of being able to help others learn and build confidence, coupled with my interest in other cultures, particularly those that are East Asian, led me to enrolling in the AIS CertTESOL programme. I have recently become a new mother, so I wanted to create more opportunities for my future.
I had a great experience at AIS. The eight-week fulltime programme really suited me, as intensive study is what I like. My experience was very positive. I had very experienced and down-to-earth tutors whose insight and knowledge was of great use. The practical aspect of the CertTESOL programme forced us as new teachers to try and give it a go, and in doing so we progressed a lot faster. I now work for AIS as a relief teacher, as well as freelance English teaching to international students here in Auckland.
I recommend AIS. First and foremost the staff are all amazingly hospitable and approachable, as are the students. The array of cultures together in every class means the classes are interesting, with their own dynamic. There’s a lot of help readily available for newcomers, too. I absolutely recommend this school to anyone willing to learn.
A local education agent in Japan recommended that Tomoko study English in New Zealand because it’s safe for women and young students. The agent also...Read more
A local education agent in Japan recommended that Tomoko study English in New Zealand because it’s safe for women and young students. The agent also recommended AIS due to the variety of courses we offer.
“AIS has other courses and offers a choice. My friend went to another school and didn’t have many choices.”
At first Tomoko found that studying English at AIS was hard.
“At first I couldn’t listen, I didn’t understand. I was a bit shocked! Studying English in Japan was easy, but at AIS it was not easy …”
Luckily, having the support of her teachers and friends, coupled with the all-around English-speaking environment of AIS and of New Zealand, helped her settle in and feel comfortable. Tomoko advanced from intermediate to upper intermediate level in just under two months and took EAP Stage I shortly after that.
“When I stayed there I had full-on days. I learned a lot. I improved my writing skills, reading skills, vocabulary … there are lots of opportunities to speak all the time.”
Nearing the end of her studies, Tomoko enrolled in a 12-week IELTS preparation course. Her latest test, undertaken in Japan, showed a high score equivalent to IELTS 7.0 and TOEIC 860.
“If I can speak English, I can communicate – and there’s no problem. If you have confidence, you can go anywhere.”
As New Zealand becomes more multicultural, there is no better place to witness this diversity than in the primary school environment. However, with many...Read more
As New Zealand becomes more multicultural, there is no better place to witness this diversity than in the primary school environment. However, with many families coming to the country without English as a first language, it highlights the importance of ESOL departments - as AIS graduate Kay understands.
Kay works as the Head of ESOL at a North Shore primary school, a department which is funded for no less than 35 students from countries around the globe, including China, South Korea, Russia and Japan.
Kay wanted to offer her international students a better learning environment, and completing an industry-level course was the perfect step.
For Kay, the key part of her AIS programme was the quality education. Incorporating both a practical and theoretical base, the CertTESOL programme is highly detailed with a regularly updated curriculum. Kay also cited the smaller classes taught by industry leaders which allows for constant feedback and support.
“The programme allows you time to think about the particular languages and the differences with English. This in regards to pronunciation and fluency which are quite hard to work on in terms of teaching and how you incorporate them into your daily lesson planning.”
As Kay was already in a primary school, heading back to the classroom herself provided a unique insight into how English should be taught.
“You have a lot of specifically focussed language teachers around you all the time and you get to observe them. I’ve seen people whose jobs are especially around language - it’s good to watch really good teachers teaching.”
A lot of the CertTESOL programme stands out for Kay, but the structure has left the greatest impact - a spiral system.
“They will teach you something in week one and you think you are getting it. Then the next week, they will come back to it in a new way and add more elements to it. By the time you’re in week eight, you have an entirely new level of knowledge - it is very cleverly planned.”
Japan might seem like a world away from Mexico, but for Alvaro, the best way to get to his dream country is a stopover here in New Zealand. Together...Read more
Japan might seem like a world away from Mexico, but for Alvaro, the best way to get to his dream country is a stopover here in New Zealand. Together with his partner, Alvaro has held firm to dreams about living and working in Japan.
However, with the easiest avenue to get there through teaching English, he knew that he had to make a shift to a predominantly English-speaking country to further his language skills.
Upon arrival in New Zealand, Alvaro completed a number of ELC classes, before completing his CertTESOL. To improve his English skills further, Alvaro began working at a Mission Bay restaurant as a bartender and part-time waiter.
“Since I came to New Zealand, everyone thinks I am a native English speaker, but that is because I was continually practising my speaking, listening and fluency at both AIS and the restaurant.”
While Alvaro’s English skills have improved dramatically as a result of his employment and communicating with the general public, he is quick to highlight the role that AIS has played. Citing its supportive environment and focus on the individual student, AIS may have provided the perfect stepping stone for Alvaro to get to Japan.
“At AIS, one of my teachers is by far my favourite since I began my studies. He was really well prepared and took the time to talk with students around their individual problems.”
Alvaro also credits the smaller class sizes at AIS as an element that has helped him reach his potential.
“Every teacher is putting in a lot of effort to make the classes interactive and interesting for the students.”
Alvaro plans to stay in New Zealand for a time, completing another AIS programme alongside his work at the restaurant. Alvaro is also considering further educational opportunities before heading to Japan in the coming years. Of course, any successes that Alvaro and his partner have in Asia will have foundations born in New Zealand.
“AIS is well prepared for international students and is a really good place to study. I originally had doubts that I could become a teacher, but after my experience at AIS, I’m inspired.”
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