Overseas international students return to WITT

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With trimester two underway, for the first time since 2019 WITT has welcomed offshore international students back onto campus. Seventeen full-time international students successfully received visas and travelled to WITT to begin their study in July, with more excepted in coming months. WITT also welcomed 30 international nurses for the August intake of the Competency Assessment Programme, which is a qualification required by internationally qualified nurses who wish to gain registration as a nurse in New Zealand.

Allie Hemara-Wahanui, Kaiārahi Deputy Chief Executive, was excited that international students are returning to WITT.  Allie says they bring a rich culture, a reo, and perspectives that add to the korowai of our institute.  And that benefits both our local students as well as the wider Taranaki community. 

"Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic and the borders closing, it has been tough for the international education sector and it is reassuring and exciting to have these students with us again, especially with the skill shortages around Taranaki maunga. “

Nepalese students Tara Chhantyal (Bachelor of Applied Management student) and Subin Gurung (Information Technology student) applied to study at WITT in 2020 before becoming victims of the border restrictions put in place due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Despite the tough border restrictions, Tara and Subin enrolled in online courses at WITT to begin their study while they waited to travel to New Zealand.

"Applying to study in 2020 and not being able to come until two weeks ago has been very frustrating and annoying. The uncertainty and no definite date around when the New Zealand borders would reopen have made it hard to plan things for the last two years," Tara says.

Despite the struggles of the Covid-19 pandemic, Tara and Subin remained optimistic about coming to WITT to complete their study as soon as possible.

 "We met during the online WITT courses and finally got to meet in person when we were getting our visas processed," Subin says.

While they are both missing the food back in Nepal, Tara and Subin hope to find time between full-time study and part-time work to explore New Zealand and learn more about Māori culture.

"I wanted to come to New Zealand as it is the safest country and hope to be able to get out and explore it," Tara says.

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