Otago Polytechnic
ENG profile Xin 001
The programme helped prepare me for real Kiwi life and finding a job.

Wang Xin, China
New Zealand Certificate in English Language (Level 3)

Wang Xin is from Beijing, China and used to work in advertising. Three years ago she came to Otago Polytechnic to study English.

“When I first came here my English was all book learning. It didn’t really prepare me for life in New Zealand as people speak really fast here and use different words. However coming to Otago Polytechnic’s English Language Centre was really helpful. It was a good bridging programme with really supportive staff that taught us about the language but also about New Zealand traditions, culture and festivals.”

After finishing her English Language study, Xin continued studying at Otago Polytechnic, this time studying Culinary Arts and cooking.

Xin says: “The programme is about both design and cookery and teaches you how to solve problems and provides a great structure. Every class has more than two teachers and the lecturers are really nice.”

Eight months ago, Dunedin opened up a new Distinction Hotel and Xin went along to an open interview with over 300 other members of the public.

“I applied for a cheffing job. I went along and showed the head chef my passion and I was successful in getting the job. I now work at Distinction Hotel and prepare food from breakfast through to dinner and also do food service.

“I’m really enjoying living in Dunedin. Dunedin is a really nice city with no traffic jams, beautiful views and buildings and nice people. When you walk down the street everyone smiles at you. I really like that.

“If you want to learn English then studying in Dunedin, New Zealand is a really good choice. Dunedin is a student city so it is a really good study environment and Otago Polytechnic will give you a really good foundation to study, work and live in an English-speaking country.”

INT profile JayWatphisit 002
Overall Otago Polytechnic helped me a lot.

Jay Watphisit, Thailand
New Zealand Certificate in English Language (Level 3)

Originally from Thailand, Jay Watphisit came to New Zealand nine years ago and completed high school here. He first started studying at Otago Polytechnic in 2012 as he needed to improve his academic English so could follow his passion and study Information Technology.

“I already had studied quite of bit of English before through doing high school here, however my academic English, particularly reading and writing, still weren’t at the level I needed to be comfortable completing a degree. So I chose to study the New Zealand Certificate in English Language to help give me the skills I needed to be successful.”

Jay describes studying at Otago Polytechnic as a “great experience”. He is now in the final year of his Bachelor of Information Technology degree and looks forward to graduating at the end of the year.

“I gained a lot of experience in the IT industry through my degree. I got to meet a lot of people in the industry, learn how to study independently and also do group work. It was hard at times but the lecturers were on hand if I needed them. I found it different to studying in Thailand. Here you are really encouraged to find your own way and take control of your own learning.”

“In the future I hope to get a job in New Zealand in the IT industry. I really like New Zealand’s natural scenery and I know so many people here.”

INT profile EmiliaSchmidtStaneloni 001
Studying English at Otago Polytechnic is awesome because Dunedin is a student city.

Emilia Schmidt Staneloni, Argentina
New Zealand Certificate in English Language (Level 3)

23 year old Emilia Schmidt Staneloni is a winemaker from Mendoza, Argentina. She came to New Zealand to study English as her brother studied English at Otago Polytechnic three years ago.

“He came home and now he speaks English very well. I was very impressed so I decided I needed to improve my English too.”

Emilia describes studying at Otago Polytechnic as a really good experience.

“I like that as well as learning English I get to meet and talk with people from other cultures, for example I have classmates from China and Korea. The great thing about studying at Otago Polytechnic is classes are all in English so you hear English all day long which helps you learn faster how to communicate.”

“Dunedin is a beautiful place but it is also very safe. Because it’s a student city there are more possibilities and opportunities. There are lots of fun activities to do and everything that you could possibly need is here.”

Emilia has also been impressed with New Zealand’s wine industry. “The wine in Central Otago is very good and I have just secured a job working in a winery in Cromwell. I'm excited to learn about New Zealand wine more.”

INT profile LinruVictorLi 001
You’re going to love studying at Otago Polytechnic. I know I did.

Linru Li (Victor), China

Linru Li (Victor) from China has an ambitious goal: he would like to be an app developer or computer programmer.

Victor came to Dunedin in July 2014 to study the New Zealand Certificate in English Language on the advice of his mum’s friend, and so far he is glad he did.

“It is a very sophisticated teaching experience at Otago Polytechnic. It has helped me a lot. I made a lot of friends at Otago Polytechnic’s English Language Centre, had nice teachers and learnt local kiwi language. It was nice to experience another culture and learn in groups.”

Victor is now in the second year of a Bachelor of Information Technology degree here at Otago Polytechnic and is well on his way to achieving his goal.

“I’m confident I can get a great job if I continue to put in lots of effort to my studies and work hard to improve my English.

“I’m actually thinking of staying in New Zealand once I graduate. I have had such a nice quality of life here so far.

“My advice to other international students is to keep learning and keep asking questions. Take every opportunity you can to speak to strangers or friends in English and you will get there.”

INT profile MatiasVijande 002
New Zealand is a great place for study and travel. It is very beautiful and very safe.

Matias Vijande, Argentina
New Zealand Certificate in English Language (Level 3)

Matias Vijande is a 25-year Argentinian who came to New Zealand to improve his academic English.

“I came to New Zealand to travel around and visit my sister who lives in New Zealand. I worked on a beef and lamb farm in the North Island for a bit however I wanted to visit the South Island. My agent Cristobal back home in Mendoza had told me about Otago Polytechnic's English language programme so I just took the opportunity.

“Back home I study Engineering so English is very advantageous to my career. Engineering job interviews are always held in English so I know that if I want to get a good job when I complete my degree I need to speak really good English.”

Matias is really enjoying the English language programme so far and is liking meeting people from a variety of cultures.

“Dunedin is the perfect city for students – there’s really friendly people, heaps of overseas students and because it is a student city most shops offer student discounts.

“I would recommend Otago Polytechnic to other overseas students because it is a great place to meet people and you can definitely improve your English here.”