The International Travel College of New Zealand share their views...
New Zealand is one of the most popular tourism destinations in the world – so it’s no surprise that many international students choose to study here.
In 2016 alone, more than 131,000 international students studied in New Zealand, with the majority (63%) based in Auckland.
Whether they are here for six months or six years, these students bring diversity, culture, knowledge, and so much more to our Pacific nation.
We believe that international students make New Zealand a better place – here’s seven reasons why.
1. They bring culture and language to the classroom
Studies have shown that students benefit from learning in a multicultural environment. Having students from multiple nationalities in the same classroom facilitates discussion, enhances learning opportunities, and improves the overall quality of education. Diverse classrooms are particularly important in the study of tourism, as students can experience interacting with other cultures first-hand and develop essential cross-cultural communication skills.
2. They tell everyone how amazing New Zealand is when they return home
After they complete their studies, most international students become global ambassadors for New Zealand. According to the 2015 International Student Barometer, 88-94% of international students have a positive experience in New Zealand – leading them to spread the word about our magnificent country. When they return home, they tell their friends, family and fellow citizens about life in New Zealand, and encourage people to visit as tourists – a major win for our tourism industry.
3. They create thousands of jobs throughout the country
Thousands of New Zealanders are employed to support the international student population. According to 2016 enrolment data from the Ministry of Education, international students created approximately 33,000 jobs. International education is New Zealand’s fourth largest export industry.
4. They enhance New Zealand’s global connections
New Zealand is a geographically isolated country and accommodating international students helps us maintain strong links with the rest of the world. International education helps to strengthen international trade, global partnerships, and the exchange of ideas.
5. They make a positive contribution to New Zealand’s economy
International students contribute an incredible $4.5bn to the economy each year, spending an average of approximately $34,000 per person on expenses such as living costs, fees, and travel. Fees paid by international students generate around $1bn for New Zealand education institutions.
6. They contribute to skills shortages
Many international students work part-time throughout their studies and fill skills shortages, especially in regional parts of the country and for seasonal work. These students bring vital skills to our country, especially in high-demand industries such as travel and tourism.
7. They create multicultural communities
Most international students return home after they finish their studies in New Zealand, but a select few decide to stay. Those that stay help to create vibrant, multicultural communities, and contribute positively to their local economy. According to a recent report, four out of five New Zealanders believe the country’s culture and society are improved by immigrants.
At ITC, we welcome around 50 international students a year and cherish the contribution they make to college life. Our domestic students enjoy getting to know students from other cultures and make lifelong friendships with people from all around the world.
“We love having international students in the classroom at ITC!” says Lesley Brough, International Marketing Manager.
“Our students are studying for a career in the airline, travel and tourism industries, which means they will be interacting with people and cultures from all around the world. Having international students in the classroom adds to the value of our teaching as every student learns how to communicate effectively.”
The better students know how to communicate across cultures, the more they will be able to contribute to the industry, Lesley adds.
“The presence of international students is of huge benefit to future employers because our students are equipped with the skills needed to add value to their business. International students are also a real asset to New Zealand businesses as they often have in demand language skills and help bring a level of empathy to a company’s culture and customers,” Lesley concludes.