Meet Bruno Pinheiro dos Santos. He’s an international student from Brazil who’s undertaking the University of Auckland Certificate in Foundation Studies delivered by ACG Pathways.
Bruno wanted to study at a university in New Zealand, but he needed to do an initial year of tertiary study in Brazil as a prerequisite – or attend a foundation course.
Initially he thought a foundation studies year would only delay his university degree. But after evaluating the options and opting for the pathways course, he was surprised by the benefits it had for his English language skills.
“No matter how good your IELTS score, it takes time for you to sound more natural and be able to express yourself accurately. Living in an English speaking country with a unique accent sharpened my English skills, especially listening.”
He says being able to choose his subjects – something he couldn’t do in Brazil – was an eye-opener. “It really gives you a good foundation to start with at university – especially getting to know the academic terms in different subjects.”
Next year Bruno hopes to study Commerce at the University of Auckland and eventually he’d like to open his own business in New Zealand. But for now, he’s concentrating on finishing his foundation course at ACG Pathways and working part-time for top Kiwi clothing company, Icebreaker.
An active person with a love of surfing, running, mountain biking, hiking, ‘and all things outdoors’, he fits well into Kiwi culture. But he’s also loyal to his roots.
“From time to time I play a little soccer, too, to do justice to my nationality!”