Student Testimonials

Student Testimonials


Rachel Kim AUT Foundation

Student: Rachel Kim Country of Origin: Korea

My name is Rachel and I am from Korea. I’m doing a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and Chinese at AUT University. I decided to come to New Zealand because learning in an English-speaking environment gives you access to more career opportunities in the future. I chose ACG because it is well known for being a really great university pathway for international students. The staff and students here are very friendly and I felt really comfortable and happy studying here.

The AUT University Foundation programme helps you to prepare for university. One of the subjects I was taking when I was doing the programme is called Tertiary Study Skills and it was all about learning how to write academic essays. I really like the lively atmosphere in New Zealand. It is a melting pot of different cultures. I have met people from all over the world and Auckland has many international festivals that give you an exposure to other cultures. After graduating from AUT I’m planning to do a graduate diploma in early childhood education.

AbdullahStudent: Abdullah Alsharai  Country of Origin: Saudi Arabia

 Hi, my name is Abdullah Alsharari and I am studying in The AUT University Certificate in Foundation Studies taught by ACG Norton College. Before coming to Auckland I was studying in Christchurch in the  South Island of New Zealand. It was very sad what happened in Christchurch with the earthquake in February but I am glad all my friends were okay. Now that I am in Auckland, which is toward the top of the    North Island, I am very happy to be here. The teachers have helped me a lot, both in class and also outside of class time with tutorials and individual assistance. I am pleased with the progress I am making in  my course.

  Auckland is a safe city to live in and I have made many new friends from a lot of different countries. I am very happy living here.


Student: Shoichi Isogai Country of Origin: Japan

My name is Shoichi Isogai, 20 years old and from Mito prefecture in Japan. I have been in New Zealand for a year.

When I came to New Zealand, I talked to ACG staff and decided to take The AUT University Certificate in Foundation Studies. The course takes 8 months and I had to choose 2 academic subjects with 2 other compulsory subjects (English, TPS and Culture & Society) in each semester. Also, I could take other academic subjects in the next trimester which gave me more choice.

When I was at ACG Norton College, I wanted to take the "Communication Studies" degree because I was quite interested in Media and it required high marks in academic subjects and English. Also, I did not need to take Math if I took that degree. Therefore, I thought I would take these subjects just for passing this course. However, during the second semester, I started enjoying Economics even though I had never studied that subject before when I was in Japan. Consequently, the subject changed my mind to consider taking another degree called "Bachelor of Arts", which I am passionate about to study.

In the Economics class, I learnt so many things from both my Economics teachers. One was Mr Matthews and another was Mr Forde. I learnt about New Zealand Micro-economics which is about individual people and markets and Macro-economics which is all about one country's economical situations. When we studied economics, the teachers give us a lot of interesting and funny stories about the economy of many countries, especially New Zealand. Also, because there were many students from different countries, they asked us lots of questions about our countries' economies. Furthermore, they gave me many ideas and much to think about. From these classes, I have learnt much about New Zealand economics and have a better understanding of other countries' economies.

Overall, the teachers and their kindness was great because they are always friendly and considerate to the students and if there was a problem with homestay, personal life or other issues, they would understand and try to solve it. Besides, if some students had some questions about the subjects or difficulty of choosing degrees, the teachers, especially Ms Urquhart, would counsel them and help them find a solution. That is why students could focus on their study with full support from the ACG Norton College teachers.

I also made a lot of friends when I took the course. Even though all the students came from different countries, we were friendly to each other, supportive of each other and hung out together. I made one best friend whose name is Gabriel from Singapore. We had the best times together and shared our problems and supported each other.

Ultimately, ACG Norton College has given me the joy of studying and a warm heart towards each student that I have met. I have enjoyed my studies there and I will be able to study at university full of hope. I will remember this College forever and if some people ask me about this course, I would say "FANTASTIC".


Student: Emily Wu Country of Origin: China

In my view, a good friend is a person who you know will help you if you are ever in trouble and who you can share your joy and sadness with. Since I came to NZ, I have made lots of good friends; all of them help me so much. Especially my current homestay parents.

Now I would like to talk about my home stay father who is a pretty easygoing person and has a good sense of humour. I will never forget the first time we met when it was a rainy evening. Unfortunately, my agent's car had broken down on the way to the homestay, so my homestay father picked me up and we started our first conversation. My first impression of this old man was that he was pretty patient because he tried to explain all the things when I felt strange.

From that time, I have stayed with them and they entered my new life in NZ. Everyday I spend about 2 to 3 hours with my homestay parents and tell them something about my school. Moreover, we stay together and watch the news and some funny programmes. While the programmes are on, my homestay father concentrates on it and ignores me, but afterwards he will ask me what the programme was about and explain things I am confused about. So helpful! In addition, it is so common for me to be homesick since I came here alone without my family. My homestay father always encourages me to not feel like a stranger and just help myself. The words he uses most often are "do not feel shy, you are a part of our home and we are your parents in NZ." Once he says this, I will smile and forget my homesickness. I also reply him "yes, dad, I got it!" So funny!

Actually, I never think we have any communication gaps and I treat my homestay father as my best friend in NZ.


Student: Carmen Ng Country of Origin: Hong Kong

My name is Carmen. I am 19 years old and come from Hong Kong. I have been in New Zealand for nearly one and a half years.

I was a Year 13 student last year. However, I failed my ESOL writing so I could not enter any university. Then my Auntie suggested to me to apply to ACG Norton College. Since then, I have started my new study life. I studied The AUT University Certificate in Post Foundation Studies and this course was only for 3 months. Although I have been here for a short time, I really learned a lot and changed a lot.

In the past, I did not have too many friends and I wanted to stay with people who came from my country because it would be easy to understand each other and I could not speak English fluently. At ACG Norton College, I have met lots of friends from different countries. Certainly, it is a good opportunity to improve my English. They have influenced me to try to speak more and they would not jeer at my speaking mistakes. In meeting with them, my confidence developed. That is why I gradually began to like to go to school.

I have never done design before. The reason why I chose it was because I really want to be a designer. Doing this design course was good for me in many ways. I learned more about design specifically. In the beginning of the course, we did some simple design work and then we started to learn how to use Photoshop. Miss Lee, who is our design teacher, taught us lots of design skills. Moreover, she gave us lots of fresh ideas and advice to help us develop our design boards. I still remember before the exam week, Miss Lee stayed with us until 8:00pm to help us to achieve our assignment. Hence, I got a good mark for my work. Miss Lee is a very nice, responsible and patient teacher.

Studying at ACG Norton College was a wonderful period and it was a great experience in my life. Also, I will never forget my friends and teachers there.


Student: Baizhumanyev Yernar Country of Origin: Kazakhstan

I am Baizhumayev Yernar, 19 years old and from Kazakhstan. This is my 7th month in New Zealand, studying in The AUT University Certificate in Foundation Studies.

ACG Norton College is a remarkable education centre, where the most cheerful and intelligent students from all over the world study. Comradeship and mutual support is excellent. Here I found sensitive and kind friends, who together form a real team. The quality of teaching and the quality of knowledge gained is at the highest level. Teachers know how to develop the individual abilities of the students and involve them in research. It is also worth mentioning that the administrative care of students is very good.

Well, the main thing is that our college students not only study with enthusiasm but also that we love to go out and enjoy the nature of New Zealand. I will never regret my choice!

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