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“I was very clear that I wanted to go to uni and study psychology but I didn’t get uni entrance from school so was looking at the best bridging study to get there when I chanced across this course. I was here for Orientation to support my partner and when I mentioned what I wanted to do to his tutor, she said this health and wellbeing course was perfect.”
“I was very nervous and quiet when I started because I come from right up north and was the youngest in the class, but my advantage was that I was straight out of school so I was used to study and written structure. I’m finding my grades are really good so that has helped my confidence and the course helps with communication and making presentations. It’s a really open environment here and all the students and tutors are genuinely supportive.”
“I’m realising since leaving home that my Dad is my inner voice encouraging me to be my best self. I’m really surprised here how strong the Māori aspect of the course is. I’m Māori but our parents didn’t speak te reo and I had to learn where I came from to give my pepeha here.”
“I can truly further my education by doing this course. I’m keen to upskill and want to absorb as much as possible to better my confidence, communication and motivational interviewing. I’ve already started applying to Auckland University where my sister is studying to be a doctor. My path will be a Bachelor of Arts with a Psychology major and my family’s end goal is to open a clinic up north for our own people. My Mum has her social work degree, my Dad is studying social work, my sister will have her medical degree, and I’ll have psychology.”
“I’m one of the oldest of ten children and all of us know how much need there is for education and up-skilling in our region. We as Māori are a small percentage of the population but the statistics in prison, mental health, and limited education are high. Together we can help with this. As youth, we all have capability to lift ourselves but a lot of us don’t realise we can do that by studying at NorthTec in a supportive system and staying in the area.”
“I was doing construction as work experience at school for an hour a day and loving it so I knew I wanted to go into building. Some of my mates had done this course so I signed up straight after the school holidays.”
“It’s so much easier to learn here than at school because we’re doing what we love, the tutors are really cool, and we’re independent so we do the work because we want to not because we’re told to.”
“I’m the youngest in the course and it was hard at first because I had no mates here, but now we all know each other and get on well. When I finish here I hope to get an apprenticeship. The tutors have good connections to help with that but I’ll find my own as well.”
“My dream is to build my own house, be my own boss and have some people working for me. To other students out there that don’t like school but are into something else, I’d say go and do the training for what you’re interested in."
Armand van Rooyen is going to be a social worker. He wants to work with youth and families, because as a youth he would have like some extra support.
“I felt a need to help other people in my life. I just want to be the change I want to see in the world, I guess.”
To become a social worker and to help others, Armand needs to start from the beginning. After moving to New Zealand with his family when he was 7 years old, Armand struggled with his English and learning in school.
“I dropped out of school at NCEA level 2, so I need to first compete the Study & Career Prep programme at NorthTec. Not being in school for a couple of years has made it a bit challenging, especially essay writing, but that’s where the support at NorthTec comes in. My tutors are so helpful and on to it, and the whole class is like a little family as well. We all help each other out, we don’t judge anyone – it’s just a supportive culture.”
Armand has studied with NorthTec before, completing a NZ Certificate in Electrical Engineering Theory, but after 2 weeks into his apprenticeship, an accident involving a longboard made Armand rethink his career.
“I had to have two surgeries on my wrist and the surgeon advised against physical activity so the apprenticeship was out. But it made me realise that I did want to help others and I am glad it has taken me on this study journey.
“I like studying at NorthTec because it’s close to home. This course will build up my foundational knowledge and then I’m excited to go on and study my Bachelor’s and then onto my Master’s and then I would love to even pursue a PhD!”
“It’s so important that as students we have the first-hand experience of the pollution in our region - sometimes you can’t see it until you look for it and it creates more awareness about the problem. We get to go on various field trips and talk to people in the conservation industry that are making a difference, and it is just that invaluable experience of being able to say I have experienced this myself first-hand that is crucial as an Environmental Management student.”
“When an opportunity presented for me to fulfil my dream of furthering my education, especially in creative writing, I knew I had no more excuses. I had returned to New Zealand to look after my Mum after living in Sydney for twenty years, and my kids were older now. This course offered a foundation of learning across all writing platforms so was perfect for someone like me just starting out on my writing journey, and I liked that it was online but with hands-on tutor support.”
“Oddly, one of the aspects of the course I was most doubtful about is now one of my favourite parts. I was shy, thinking other students and tutors would be reading my stories in an online forum, but I now think it’s fun and invaluable to all share as our journeys unfolds. I also thought I’d miss the physical interaction with teachers and students but NorthTec host a hui where we meet our tutors and fellow students and hear pearls of wisdom from guest speakers that keep us all motivated and connected.”
“The dedication of the tutors is exceptional. They’re so passionate and professional and genuinely want to see us succeed, so they prop us up when we doubt ourselves and they soothe our end-of-semester stress.”
“A big surprise was that the course covered such a range of writing platforms. I thought it would be solely fiction writing but we explore writing blogs, scripts, eBooks, articles, poetry, writing for children, publishing contracts, how to self-edit, and even the tax responsibilities of a professional writer. My other surprise was a shift from thinking I wanted to write for children to instead falling in love with short story writing, which previously I had no time for.”
“This course has given me confidence and a belief in myself that I didn’t have and has opened networking opportunities and doors to success. Right now I’m excitedly waiting to see my first story in print in a soon-to-be-published short story collection. I’m also looking forward to continuing to level 7 when I’ll be working on a novel and short story collection. With all the support from NorthTec and my family, the sky is the limit now on my path to becoming a professional writer.”
“I came to New Zealand four years ago from China to study the Bachelor of Sport and Recreation through a sister-city link between the university in China and NorthTec. I was a golf club manager and a track and field athlete in China so I was keen to become more professional in my career, and to broaden my knowledge. The first year was hard because of the different culture and the specialist sport and recreation language, but I have learnt and adapted now. ”
“I love that we have a lot of practicum in this programme and we get the opportunity to actually do what we learn out there in the community. It’s good for us as students and good for the community so it’s a win-win. For my co-ordination paper I’m working at NorthTec International Department to encourage Chinese students to be more active.”
“I’ve learned that I’m more adaptable than I expected. In New Zealand a lot of Chinese stay within their own group but I’m keen to find kiwi friends and tutors, and that has really helped my English and given me more choices both for my career and personally.”
“There is a lot more community work in New Zealand than in China and I like that, so when I finish my degree I’ll choose an area to start my career. At the moment I’m keen to become a co-ordinator with Sports Northland, or in a gym, or in the police.”
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