Name: Angeline Chettiar
Program: Graduate Diploma in Teaching (ECE)
Why did you choose to study early childhood education at NZTC?
Back in India, I had four years of work experience teaching in a kindergarten, but I didn’t have a qualification to support that. I knew that I wanted an international qualification, and through researching I found that New Zealand are the best providers of early childhood education. That was why I got in touch with the NZTC India Office in Mumbai.
How did the NZTC India office assist you with your move to New Zealand?
Sanjay, one of the NZTC India staff, was very helpful. He helped with all the documentation and was actively liaising with the agency and NZTC Auckland on my behalf. He was available 24/7 to answer my questions. His positive attitude and motivational words were a great inspiration for me and my family. After reaching Auckland and joining the College, he was in touch through eMail to make sure that I was comfortable and settled. Cheers to the NZTC India Team!!!
What were your biggest challenges as an international student, and what helped you to overcome them?
As an international student, there have been challenges, because you are coming from a different culture. The challenges are everywhere, whether it’s in India or in New Zealand, they are in any field that you work in. It’s up to you to take it positively and think of it as a stepping stone.
One particular challenge was understanding the kind of education that is provided here. Back in India, we just had things that we needed to memorise, but I had never studied in a framework where I had to write an essay and submit it. At NZTC I learned about writing an essay in my own words, researching, avoiding plagiarism and backing up my assessments with research articles. It was a good learning experience.
Also, though I am fluent in English, there were still some language barriers in understanding what the lecturers were teaching. But, through working together with my lecturers, I have overcome that challenge.
What do you like about working in early childhood education?
I love working with children. They are innocent, they are cute, and we as early childhood teachers are responsible for shaping their future.
What has been the best part of studying at NZTC?
NZTC is excellent because of the in-depth teaching that they provide. The lecturers are excellent – they are always there to help you, and the curriculum is framed so that everything you need to be a qualified teacher is there. The other students I worked with at my centre also speak positively about NZTC because of the kind of practical approach that they provide. You have field practice every week, so you don’t need to wait until after graduation to gain work experience. Everything I have studied this year I can actually relate to my teaching.
Which courses have you enjoyed the most at NZTC?
The evening tutorial classes were fun because it’s not a lecture where you just sit and listen to the lecturer. The lecturers are interactive, and if you have questions they will always stop and make sure you understand before moving ahead.
What are your plans now you have graduated?
I have a permanent job working as a qualified teacher for babies, and I plan to continue working here. My teacher’s registration is my first priority now. After I have my full registration I will think about upgrading my studies.
What advice would you give to students looking to move to NZ to study?
I tell my friends and relatives who are overseas, from a teaching or a non-teaching background, that if they are planning to study towards an international qualification, early childhood education is the best thing. I’ve been telling them that if they are planning to come to New Zealand, NZTC is the place to be.