Mijung Byeon came to New Zealand to study at CPIT (now Ara Institute of Canterbury) and has enjoyed it so much that she wants to stay here permanently and pursue a career as a chef.
She originally came to study English after hearing about CPIT from one of her English professors in Korea. She found learning English in New Zealand much easier than trying to learn the language in Korea as she had to use it every day. Tutors and other students were patient and encouraging and she found learning English enjoyable as a result.
Mijung is now completing a Diploma in Professional Cookery and can't wait to get started in her first real restaurant job after getting a taste for it at The Visions on Campus training restaurant. She enjoys the practical training given here, which will help her to get a job upon completion of the course.
The study environment has continued to be beneficial for Mijung, particularly the high level of support she is given as an international student. "The tutors here are always helpful and the students are kind and hardworking," she says.
A mixture of international students and New Zealanders on campus has given Mijung the opportunity to make many different friends. "International students can enjoy meeting with each other and NZ friends," she says.
The fresh air, relaxed lifestyle and wide open spaces throughout Canterbury also appeal to Mijung who enjoys outdoor activities with her Kiwi host family. "I am very happy living and studying in New Zealand." She has taken the opportunity to enjoy more leisure activities outside of study. "Korea was always busy with no time for hobbies" but here Mijung has embraced Kiwi culture and "I can do so many things and enjoy life".