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Individual Focus

Our class sizes are considerably smaller than many other tertiary education organisations, guaranteeing you better access to academic staff when you need it and maximising your learning opportunities.

Our fast-track programmes, flexible entry dates and cross-credit recognition mean you can take advantage of previous studies and achieve your educational goals quickly.

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Individual focus testimonials

Lesieli Filivao - Bachelor of International Business

Before I attended AIS, I was working for Paradise International Hotel in Tonga as an accounts manager. Having worked for several years in accounts, I realised that for me to get ahead I needed an accounting qualification.

Choosing New Zealand and AIS to further my education in accounting was the right decision for me. I was fortunate to receive a Pacific Island Educational Scholarship. My two years studying were the most pleasurable and memorable throughout my study history. The institute has a strong faculty and high-quality academic staff. I had the most caring, intellectually stimulating and responsive lecturers and tutors. They have equipped me with the knowledge, skills and the professionalism that I needed for my career, and the critical thinking that I needed for lifelong development of my knowledge in accounting and the business sector.

I am now employed at New Zealand Industrial Specialists Limited as an accounts manager. Being educated at AIS helped me find a good job in New Zealand. I am so proud to apply what I have learned to my employment today.

Catherine Zhang - Bachelor of International Business

Catherine Zhang has always been exceptional. She was Dux of the high school she attended in Tonga and then gained her Bachelor of International Business degree from AIS in a mere two years. Aside from a B+ for one paper, she was a straight A pupil.

She's now got a fabulous marketing job with an Auckland-based property development company. In her spare time she's setting up an educational consultancy and hopes to add an export-import component into that in the near future.

“I'm really keen to start up my own business because there is so much opportunity for export-import between China and New Zealand,” says Catherine.

Pretty impressive stuff for someone who is only 22.

Catherine probably has her mother to thank, in part, for her success. A highly successful career woman herself, Catherine's mum has always fully supported her daughter's ambition and drive. And it is because of her mum that Catherine ended up living in Tonga for two years and discovering New Zealand.

“My mum was a managing director for a Korean company at the time and we went to Tonga for a look. I loved it, so although my parents went back to China, I stayed there and completed my last two years of high school. There were about 100 other Chinese living in Tonga then. It was a good place to learn English, it was peaceful and there wasn't much to distract me from my studies.”

In 1999 Catherine went back to China and worked for a year as a translator and English editor. However her sights were firmly set on a degree.

“While I was in Tonga I visited New Zealand twice. I got to know Auckland quite well and really liked it so I decided to come here for my degree studies. I chose AIS because I had heard through a friend that I could fast-track my studies. I wanted to finish my degree as fast as possible - I didn't want to spend any more of my mum's money than absolutely necessary!”

Catherine whizzed through her degree in two years and thoroughly enjoyed it.

“The BIB was good. I liked the small classes and I made friends with all the lecturers. They were fantastic. Even though I've left, we are still in touch. I don't think that would have happened if I'd gone to Auckland University.”

Towards the end of her BIB, Catherine landed a part-time job as a receptionist for the property development company she now works for. Once she graduated they offered her full-time work and she moved into their marketing department.

She is now on a fast track to a challenging and stimulating career and is excited about her future. A future that lies predominantly, she says, in New Zealand.

“After three or four years I might go back and live in China for a while. Eventually though I think I'll come back and live in New Zealand. I'll bring my parents with me. I just love it here.”

Supavat Chiravacharatikul - Bachelor of International Business

Supavat has lived and studied in more parts of New Zealand than many Kiwis have even visited.

He first came here when he was 16 years old, living in Nelson for two years and studying at the Nelson Polytechnic. After six weeks in the General English programme, he went on to do his National Certificate in Business there.

Whenever he didn't have his nose to the grindstone, he and his girlfriend would go sightseeing to various South Island hotspots, including Christchurch, Kaikoura and Westport.

"I really loved living in Nelson," says Supavat. "It's got nice people, it's beautiful, the weather is very sunny and there's a really good cafe there. I love it so much I have to go back there every couple of years!"

Very business orientated, Supavat then moved to Hamilton and completed his Diploma in Business Studies at Waikato Polytech.

Soon after, he was lured up to Auckland by a Thai man he'd befriended on a flight from Bangkok to NZ, who was then living in Auckland and studying at AIS. The pair have remained friends ever since.

"He told me that AIS was a great place to study so I decided to try it."

Supavat studied at AIS from 1995 to 1997 and gained his Bachelor of International Business there before going on to Massey University to start his Masters Degree.

The contrast between AIS and Massey was marked.

"At AIS the teachers are all really helpful and positive. They're there when you need them - we can even call them at home. I found they really try and understand your point of view and they're quite flexible. They understand that for some of us English is our second language so our grammar may not be perfect, and they help us with that. That would never happen at university.

"The other good thing about AIS is the small class sizes. You get lots of individual attention and also students never need to be worried about raising their hands and asking questions. That can be quite scary and embarrassing in a university lecture of hundreds of students but at AIS you know all your classmates so you don't need to feel shy. This is a really important point because you need to be able to understand things fully before you can go away and do self-study, so you need to feel comfortable asking questions."

"The pace at Massey is a lot faster. You can't hold a lecture up to ask questions. And in group assignments, the groups are a lot bigger so you don't get as much benefit from them."

Supavat spent a year studying full-time at Massey's Albany campus, gaining a Post-graduate Diploma in Management. He intended to complete his Masters there, however in 1999 he landed a great job as an office manager for the New Zealand Embassy in Bangkok. He took the job and decided to continue his studies extra-murally. He hopes to complete his Masters at a later date.

Mehrunnissa - Graduate Diploma in International Business

Nisha graduated from AIS with a Graduate Diploma in International Business in late August 2014. She is currently enjoying her stay in New Zealand on a 12-month Post Study Work visa, working as a Delivery Center Consultant at IBM (Concentrix) on behalf of Air New Zealand. In addition to her AIS Graduate Diploma, Nisha has over nine years of experience working within the hospitality and hotel industry, later progressing up to the level of marketing executive, along with a bachelor degree in IT and aviation and air hostess training.

Nisha came to New Zealand from West Bengal, India in June 2012 with an offer of place to study Graduate Diploma in Business (Marketing) at a nearby tertiary institution. Having completed five papers there, Nisha ran into visa difficulties due to course availability issues which left her with two options: either stay in Auckland without student work rights, or return to India for six months, then come back and start over.  In either case, she would have to give up her job.

“Not a comfortable position. Basically if I went back to India, I would have to leave everything behind. I was already working in New Zealand which I would’ve had to leave and I already had a place to stay which I would’ve had to, again, leave, which was not very suitable. I was under pressure.”

Luckily, through a recommendation from friends, Nisha met AIS.

“How I met AIS was really interesting. My friend said we should go and ask around if we can cross-credit. The first uni was AIS – it was near.”

“Mike Roberts (Vice President) really guided me very well. Basically being here, still working, keeping my job and getting my graduate diploma was all his credit. If not for getting support from Mike, I don’t know whether I would be still standing. He advised what papers I needed to take and how I should be going ahead. He was very supportive because in the state I was, I was already losing my hopes left and right. To put all that together in one place is really supportive.”

“I was really lucky to have my friend direct me to AIS.”

Nisha successfully cross-credited the graduate diploma courses from the other institution, and went on to study two semesters at AIS.

“From the six months being here, I found the lecturers to be very helpful and open, and the study is really good – short but effective, it’s just three months but you get to learn a lot. AIS are really supportive with international students and have a better, stress-free environment.”

 After graduation, Nisha got her 12-month Post Study Work visa and is currently looking to settle in New Zealand.

“My first choice is to stay in New Zealand – it’s a good, beautiful country with high living standards.”

“At this point I’m looking to stick with the current job and keep applying for better marketing positions, looking toward the corporate sector. I need a bit of time to put my things together.”

“I’m looking forward to working in corporate marketing with fixed hours, having more time for myself. Customer service and marketing – these are the two main areas.”