My name is Avril Fortuin and I’m the Pastoral Care officer for New Zealand Tertiary College (NZTC), a private training institution which specialises in early childhood teacher education. My role is to provide support and guidance for our international students. Currently we have students from India, Fiji, Sri Lanka, China, Malaysia and Singapore, just to name a few.
As the Pastoral Care officer I am the ‘go-to’ person for international students. In my role I visit students on field practice, help with re-enrolment queries and refer students to appropriate support for any personal issues affecting their study.
When students first arrive at NZTC they are usually excited and nervous. To help familiarise them with College life we provide a week-long orientation, starting with a pohiri (a traditional Maori welcome), followed by a series of presentations covering safety in New Zealand, the Code of Practice, student rights and attendance requirements. Students are then taken out on a day trip around Auckland city. During this time the international team shows them how to take the different modes of transport available and other useful information such as where to find free information booklets. I come on the day trip to acquaint myself with the students, and so that they know I’m the person to come to should they ever have a problem. After orientation week students report that they feel ready and eager to start study with us.
Every three-to-four months I call every international student to see how they are progressing. Some students are a bit shy directly asking for help so this gives them the opportunity to share any concerns they may have. Students, however, can contact me anytime via phone, email or by dropping into the College campus – no appointment is necessary. If I can’t help them with their query, I will redirect them to someone who can.
If there was one thing I would want a prospective international student to know, it’s that there is always somebody here to talk to and guide them in the right direction. We will do everything we can to support and guide our students so that they can achieve success in their studies.
You can learn more about studying with NZTC by contacting one of our friendly Enrolments team members on (09) 520 4000 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org