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Wintec gives a warm welcome to new international ākonga

Wintec | Te Pukenga International Student Services team held a fun and interactive event to welcome international ākonga (students) on campus, with 27 countries represented at the orientation session. Many international ākonga are new to not just Wintec, but also New Zealand, so the orientation session was social and engaging, using creative ways to help ākonga understand how things work at Wintec and connect them with all the support they may need.

Karen Kemsley , International Student Services Manager, said, “the event was amazing, we were expecting around 60 new students and almost 100 came along, all excited and motivated to learn. “There was such a buzz in the room thanks to the fantastic new format the team put together, with activities specifically designed to mix the group up and create lots of opportunities to make new connections and socialise. We had a group of current ākonga who joined as volunteers to help welcome the new students and coordinate the activities.”

Unmesha Veetil, International Student Services Advisor and current student of te reo , spent some time applying her own te reo learnings, teaching the group about Māori vowel sounds and a few commonly used Māori words.  

Then the students got broken into groups and taken out and about for tours of the campus and to meet some of our kaimahi and ākonga. 

“It’s really great having this range of vibrancy, diversity and life experience back on campus,” Kemsley said . 

The session finished with the group coming back together and enjoying sharing kai from a variety of cultures including samosas, dumplings and pizza. “Over lunch, many of the ākonga shared they had been feeling lonely and wondering whether they’d made the right decision to come to New Zealand, but now that they had had the chance to meet other international students experiencing the same range of emotions and uncertainties, they were feeling more excited and reassured.  

“Feedback from our international ākonga was that they really enjoyed the experience and found it a useful forum to learn, settle in and connect with fellow international students,” Kemsley said.      

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