Rotorua: International students welcomed in official ceremony for the first time since 2019

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The official welcome ceremony took place at the council’s chambers.

International students were officially welcomed to Rotorua by mayor Tania Tapsell today – the first welcome since 2019.

More than 70 students from Toi Ohomai I Te Pūkenga took part in the ceremony at the council chambers, a Rotorua Lakes Council media release said.

Tapsell said she was proud to support the event which showcased the manaakitanga (hospitality) of Rotorua.

“After four years, it’s reassuring to welcome back international students who have chosen Rotorua as their destination to study,” Tapsell said in the media release.


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“We are a welcoming community that supports diversity and hope our international students enjoy our beautiful district.

“The return of international students is also a welcome boost for our local economy which is appreciated during these challenging times.”

Toi Ohomai i Te Pūkenga international services manager Ada Chen said more than 150 international students were expected to start their tertiary education journey in Rotorua and Tauranga during July’s intake.

Chen said the ceremony made the new ākonga [students] feel “very special” during their orientation week.


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“International students are important to our community culturally, socially, and economically.

“They add value to the learning environment and the community, enabling cultural diversity and competency as well as bringing much-needed skills and ideas.”

The intake is made up of students from Bangladesh, China, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, the United Kingdom and Vietnam.

At the Toi Ohomai Mokoia Campus, most students had chosen to study accounting, applied professional studies, business, culinary art, English, early childhood education, health, hospitality, and tourism, the statement said.

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