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ITC famils educate, entertain, and inspire budding travel and tourism students

Posted on 11/11/2020 by

ITC students have recently been attending incredible famils around New Zealand, including this beautiful trip out on the water.

Every year, ITC takes students on famils – familiarisations – that include short trips of non-stop adventure and travel all over New Zealand.

These famils offer students the opportunity to experience some of New Zealand’s best tourism hotspots, take part in adventure activities, see beautiful scenery, and get an up-close-and-personal look at just how everything is run.

These events are not just incredibly fun highlights of the year for students, but a chance to dip their toes into the industry and get a taste for what their future careers might entail.

The famils

Each field trip is different, so students in different parts of the country experience a real variety of New Zealand’s tourism offerings.

In one Auckland famil, students set off on an incredible three-day tour of the central North Island. This covers the scenery of Taupo, with both a relaxing cruise on the lake, and a white-knuckle white water rafting trip. It also includes a Maori cultural experience and a visit to Taupo’s Spa Park.

The second Auckland famil is also three days long, but tours the Bay of Islands. This spectacular region is home to many of the country’s top tourist attractions, which is why students on this famil will visit Cape Reinga, Whangarei Falls, and 90 Mile Beach, and will get the chance to go sand boarding on giant sand dunes, and sailing in the bay.

In Whangarei, students head to Auckland for three days, receiving cabin crew training, visiting the America’s Cup head office, going to an ITC Careers Expo, doing a hotel inspection, and finishing the trip with a thrilling Harbour Bridge Walk – bungy jump optional!

Down south in Christchurch, students head straight to the geothermal paradise that is Hanmer Springs for three days. Here, they have the option to go jet boating or try bungy jumping, before going on a group quad bike tour then relaxing in the hot pools. On the final day, students play mini golf and go on a walk before heading back to Christchurch.

 What the students think

 We spoke to a few of the students who recently attended ITC famils to find out more about their experiences.

Kyle Horsefield, who attended the central North Island famil, shared this:

“Thank you to everyone on board the Rotorua and Taupo bound famil, their kindness and support was very much appreciated – especially because I was on crutches due to a rugby injury… special shout out to Susan Prasad (our tutor) for dealing with me on the famil. You were absolutely incredible and the vibe that we created whilst on the famil will now create a lifelong friendship.”

Titi Tomasi attended the Christchurch famil, and had this to say:

“Kakapo Lodge was so clean and had such a friendly environment. The location was even better, as it was walking distance to the shops. I enjoyed jetboating, quad biking, and the pools, even the bond that we shared with the class. Having a BBQ on our first night was such an amazing idea.”

Rebecca Heath found her famil to be a fantastic and informative break from this year’s lockdowns:

“The famil trip was amazing, informative and educational. Definitely needed a fun getaway given the lockdowns this year!”

Sein Than loved their trip, and shared these thoughts with us:

“The highlight was white water rafting…It was so fun and challenging.”

 What the tutors had to say

 Tutor Allison Jones had only positive things to say about the experience and the students this year.

“Meeting the most inspirational people in the tourism industry, exploring our beautiful country with an AMAZING group of students… What is life but one beautiful grand adventure!!”

She added that she loved seeing the students out of their comfort zones and tackling every experience with an open mind, recognising that it could be the start of an amazing career.

“I think from the first famil I took where the content really made the trip great, this time around it was definitely the people. It was truly just amazing to see how innovative, supportive and positive everyone was, and it really did leave our students with a sense of pride and confidence in themselves and in the industry they’ve chosen to be a part of,” she added.

Susan Afoa, another ITC tutor, had similarly positive things to say.

“It was such a great experience with the Level 5 students, and for myself personally.  The students were a great bunch to go with who (I can tell) really enjoyed their time on the trip up North. Not only learning and understanding more about NZ tourism and the industry but also about themselves and each other. That also goes for myself,” she explained.

Susan in particular mentioned the wonderful tour guides the group met along the way.

She said that Burto, from Haka Tours, “was very down to earth and shared a lot about his background in the industry, what he loves about it and what the future tourism looks like… We pretty much felt like he was a part of ITC the whole time as the students felt comfortable with him”.

Susan added that Paul, the group’s EXPLORE tour guide, “was so engaging throughout the whole tour, he knew so much about every part of the places we drove through or to and it was awesome to hear. History, culture and all! It was awesome to witness the students learn, interact and enjoy the trip… Paul was nothing but professional, interactive and I felt kept everyone engaged from beginning to end”.

Finally, Susan discussed the Barefoot Sailing Team.

“Even though some of us felt a bit sea sick, the hosts were nothing but empathetic, caring and super professional. They ensured that they were aware of anyone that looked like they were unwell or required attention, and assisted in any way that they could… Overall the experience itself was awesome for the students and one I will never forget”.


If you’re ready to get started in a career in tourism, travel, or aviation, get in touch to find out more about ITC and begin your enrolment.

Campus Study – 0800 TOURISM (0800 868747) or

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