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Five NorthTec tourism students are preparing to head to Walt Disney World in Florida for a cultural exchange programme.
The five female students will be travelling to Orlando in January for a six-month paid internship to the famous holiday destination.
While there, they could be involved in a range of tasks including selling tickets, giving safety talks to tourists on the rides, working on the rides and giving guided tours of the site.
The students have this year gained a Level 3 New Zealand Certificate in Tourism, and are currently completing the Level 4 New Zealand Certificate in Travel. NorthTec delivers the programme in partnership with the International Travel College of New Zealand (ITC) and gains access to the Disney cultural exchange programme through this partnership.
They applied for the Walt Disney World internship in August, sending in a CV and cover letter, and were then selected for next year’s programme.
Student Nicole Lunn, 18, said she is really looking forward to the trip: The former Kamo High School student said: “I am excited, it is coming up so fast. I want to travel and this is a great opportunity because I’m still so young, it’s a great way to start off within the travel and tourism industry.”
Nicole said she has loved her tourism and travel studies this year: “At school you have to go to classes that you don’t really like. This I come to every day and I’ve just loved it, you just keep learning all the time. It’s amazing and the teacher is great.”
The highlight for Nicole has been carrying out consultancy work to develop itineraries for travellers and learning to use central reservation systems. She also enjoyed a trip to Auckland to attend a travel and tourism careers expo, where the students met employers and learned more about the industry.
When she returns from Walt Disney World she hopes to work in Auckland, aiming to secure a job at the airport or for an airline.
Tutor Mike Matata said he was proud of the students for being selected for the programme. Another two students from the class are waiting to hear if they have been accepted for the mid-year Disney exchange programme, while another is hoping to work at Camp America after completing her NorthTec studies.
He said: “This will give them a great opportunity to work in the heart of the international tourism industry, getting work experience before they look for permanent employment. It also helps to develop their customer service and communication skills.”