Norwegian students to study at New Zealand’s world-class Health Precinct

News News & events

12 Feb 2018

A new partnership and a new state of the art facility presents a unique opportunity for Norwegian nursing students to experience world-class resources and new levels of health sector collaboration in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Nursing, midwifery and medical imaging students at Ara Institute of Canterbury in Christchurch will move into the city’s new Te Papa Hauora/Health Precinct in mid-2018. Within this world class hub for health education, research and innovation is the Health Research Education Facility, a $70 million building that will be home to more than 1,000 Ara students as well as Canterbury District Health Board staff and University of Canterbury researchers.

As part of a programme of internationalisation, Ara recently formed a new partnership with Molde University College in Norway, through funding provided by Education NZ, to open up new opportunities for staff and students from New Zealand and Norway to experience health sector professional practices, and cultures, on the other side of the world. The first Norwegian nursing students studied at Ara in semester 2, 2017.

Christchurch’s new health precinct

Health-related programmes at Ara already have excellent reputations. Nursing students’ pass rates and employment rates are the envy of the rest of the country. Medical imaging students at Ara were the first in the world to train on virtual reality platforms and all of the students benefit from the department’s robust research and close collaboration with the health sector.  

The new Health Precinct however, will increase access to professional practice and will provide even better facilities.

Ara students will train on state of the art simulation mannequins in impressive simulated environments, including an operating theatre, a home environment and a community medical practice. Proximity to the city’s main hospital, health professionals and researchers will further prepare these students to be the finest healthcare workforce of the future.  

First Norwegian nursing student to visit Christchurch

Jorun Tømte was determined to be one of the first Norwegian nursing students to take up the offer of a semester-long study abroad in New Zealand. “It´s a one-time opportunity to be able to embrace and learn about a country, on the opposite side of the planet, from ‘the inside’,” she said.  

Personal and professional growth defined Tømte’s semester in Christchurch. Life in a new country initially required some adjustment, but was very much worth the effort, she said. “At first it was hard to adapt and enrol into the system for a number of reasons; jetlag, the sudden end to my summer vacation, which had just started, being new to everything, different school systems, and heaps of new faces and titles to understand and remember!”

Tømte’s biggest hurdle was adapting to academic language in English, however she overcame all of her challenges with help from the supportive Ara staff. “My teachers were amazing. The lectures were diverse, which gave us the opportunity to acquire information in multiple ways.”

Tømte was surprised at the parallels between the two countries. “First of all, I didn´t really know too much about New Zealand, but I knew that the sociocultural norms and the health sectors were somewhat similar.”

Ultimately, she learnt that “even though the nursing processes may differ, the aim of treatment is the same - to enable people to manage and live their own lives in the best way possible”. 

Now on placement back in Norway, Tømte’s experience in Christchurch will enrich the remainder of her studies and her career in nursing.

In an increasingly global world, study exchanges are invaluable for both students and staff. Knowledge sharing, research collaboration and professional networks are just some of the benefits, alongside fostering open-minded, tolerant, skilled and creative citizens of the future.

Internationalisation: Ara has developed relationships with over 20 institutes in Asia and 14 institutes in Europe, including Molde University College and the Norwegian University of Science & Technology (NTNU) in Norway. Ara also has institutional relationships in North America, India and Australia.

International students at Ara: Some 1,800 international students a year from 90 countries study at Ara, across the range of programmes. With specialised support services and industry-relevant qualfications, Ara is proud of its high pass rates for international students.