Nursing programme bringing international students onshore

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On 19 March 2020 the decision was made to close the New Zealand border to all visitors that were not 'New Zealand Citizens' or 'Permanent Residents'.

The decision introduced new challenges to international learners that many have struggled with for over a year.

Recently international boarder restrictions have eased and slowly WITT has been able to welcome international learners onshore to study once again.

In October WITT welcomed 11 new learners into our Competency Assessment Programme (CAP). Many of the learners who joined us for this programme had to make personal sacrifices, leaving their home countries and families to travel to New Zealand to study.

Michael Reamico began the Competency Assessment Programme (CAP) with us in October. Michael is from the Philippines and was a registered nurse there for many years, as well as working in Saudi Arabia as a Nurse for two years.

Michael came to New Zealand initially in 2017 and was lucky not to have to deal with the challenges of securing an MIQ spot to study however, it has not all been smooth sailing for Michael.

"The biggest struggle that I encountered here was when I went to renew my working visa back in 2018 and it was declined. I had no choice but to go back to my home country, which left me hopeless and desperate. Luckily when I re-applied for a partnership visa this was approved by Immigration New Zealand and I was able to return not long after," he said.  

Michael has been working as a healthcare assistant while in New Zealand, which means he has been able to familiarise himself with the New Zealand health care system before beginning the CAP programme.

"I am very excited for a new challenge in my life. After this programme I will be a New Zealand registered nurse and am excited to visit all the beautiful places here in New Zealand, especially in the South Island" he said.

"The people in New Zealand are friendly and approachable. Coming to WITT has given me this big opportunity to achieve my dream." he said.

While Michael has only been in New Zealand for a short period of time, he was quick to pick up on the Taranaki weather saying it was a big change for him.

"Here in Taranaki the weather is amazing and unpredictable all at the same time" he said.

With the easing of our New Zealand border restrictions, we are hopeful that we will be able to welcome more international learners into the country and WITT very soon.