Ara focus on Asian market
Ara Institute of Canterbury is trying to attract more students from China, Thailand and Japan, the Timaru campus’ newly-appointed international market sector manager says.
Ara has 57 international students enrolled at the Timaru campus, studying a variety of programmes including accounting, business, management, cookery, beauty therapy and English language.
International market sector manager Dan Zhu said the institute was looking for more students overseas, via agents - and she was also travelling to China in October and November to help promote the Timaru region and Ara’s courses.
International students enjoyed studying in the Timaru region for its beautiful environment, Zhu said, and it was a matter of better promoting the campus and making people knew how unique it was.
‘‘[Students] remark on the friendliness of the Timaru people and how much more relaxed it is than some of the countries they have come from. They would not have experienced such a different way of life if they had not chosen to study in Canterbury.’’
Ara sourced international students through agents overseas, and students organised homestays before they arrived in New Zealand.
The institute tried to help international students improve their English as quickly as they could.
‘‘Orientations are important,’’ Zhu said.
‘‘ We find them [different options] for their future studying which prepares them for job opportunities. We have a really good study environment.’’
Low living costs also attracted international students, she said.
International students were well-supported when they were there, with staff greeting them and making sure they felt welcome.
Zhu said she was in China until November 16, and was working on promoting Englishlanguage programmes, and travelling to different cities.
Ara CEO Tony Gray said having more diversity on campus would be positive.
‘‘We can all learn from each other in any business or sector and that’s what makes the experiences on campus and in the community so worthwhile.’’