15 August 2008

NZ: International students in Rotorua boost local economy

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International students are credited for injecting millions of dollars into Rotorua's economy every year, reports The Daily Post. The town, which is famous world-wide for its natural smelly hot springs, has been benefiting from the country’s international student program in more ways than one, including easing a local skills shortage.

Director of special projects at Waiariki Institute of Technology, Paramdip Singh, said international students “will pay about $16,000 in fees a year and $10,000 in living expenses a year," while friends or family of the students could spend another $40,000 to $50,000 in Rotorua annually.

He also said because of the conditions of their Student Work Permit, the students are allowed to work locally and have helped to ease the skills shortage.  At the completion of their studies, under the Study to Work Policy overseas students are able to upgrade from a study permit to a work permit if they have qualifications in an area of skills shortage.  If approved, graduates may work in the country on a work permit for another two years after their studies have been completed.

Mr Singh said around 350 international students were enrolled last year at the Waiariki Institute of Technology, and another 100 were expected to enrol this year, with the majority coming from India and China. 

"We are attracting people to our key courses such as tourism and hospitality, business and computing, as well as our nursing competency training.  Essentially we are working with the community to provide skilled workers for areas with shortages."


The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people emigrate to New Zealand.

Article by Jessica Bird, New Zealand Visa Bureau.


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