Ara fo­cus on Asian mar­ket

South Canterbury Herald - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - ELENA MCPHEE

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.’’


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