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A Tahitian Welcome

Posted on 16/10/2013 by

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Lesley Brough, ITC’s International Marketing Manager, went to Papeete in September on a work trip with Christine Lynch from NZIE. She shares some of her memorable moments.

Tahiti knows how to welcome people like no place else! As we arrived from our Air Tahiti Nui flight, we were treated to Tahitian singing and dancing. There was an even better surprise outside, with one of our wonderful International Travel College (ITC) graduates Christelle Ho and Ariitea waiting for me with a lovely frangipani flower lei. Now that’s a nice welcome!   ITC has three graduates who currently live in Tahiti, and I was lucky enough to catch up with them all. Tiffany Harry, now working at Easy Tahiti travel agency in Papeete, was a superb tour guide on our day off. Together we caught the ferry, which in just 35 minutes took us to beautiful Moorea, where Tiffany’s sister Vaima met us.  Vaima, her husband Patrick, and nephew Rahiti had planned a wonderful day for us, which included taking the family boat out.   This was to become one of my most memorable days ever! The outer reef shelters a lot of the coast of Moorea, and the water is incredibly calm, clear and a gorgeous aqua colour. Patrick drove the boat along the coast past over-water bungalow resorts (the likes of which I had only seen in magazines before) until we arrived at a very special spot. Here we had the opportunity to swim with blacktip reef sharks and stingrays. The water was chest high and while the sharks got close, they were still about a metre away (and thankfully harmless!). The stingrays were also harmless but incredibly friendly. They swam right up to us and swept across our arms, legs and even our chest. Did you know that they eat not only through their mouth, but also through two holes at the top of their heads? That was pretty neat to watch and to feel their soft, spongy bodies.   From here we journeyed to an island for a picnic, where the picnic table and chairs were put straight into the metre-deep water on a sand bank. Now this was fun!  Vaima had packed a beautiful lunch for us all, which included lots of fresh fish in coconut milk and other Tahitian dishes. We were very spoilt. After lunch I snorkelled with the numerous tropical fish.   As we were heading back to the house on the boat, we came across two humpback whales (a mother and baby) in the harbour. Apparently no one had seen whales inside the reef for many years, so it was quite amazing. With the words “You only live once!” Tiffany jumped in to swim with them. Patrick and I agreed and jumped in too. The water was very deep here (between 50 to 100 feet deep). It was scary, but this was definitely something I didn’t want to miss out on. These whales were HUGE! We could only see a small part of their bodies from the boat, so looking at them in the water with goggles was amazing.

To finish of this amazing day Patrick took us for a 4WD experience up the back of their property to view their pineapple plantation.

On another day I was able to visit Christelle at her work at Deep Nature Spa located at the Intercontinental Hotel. The spa was stunning and the hotel has its very own seawater lagoon that guests can swim in with the tropical fish.

One evening Christelle and I met with another ITC graduate, Alexandra Lion. We had a special night that included dinner at Christelle’s family roulotte (food truck) and ate her mother’s famous mahi mahi grilled fish.   It was a lovely surprise to be invited out to dinner by the parents of Mani, one of our current students. Daniel, Mahinateata and I had a lovely meal at The Royal Tahitian Hotel and we spotted the Brazilian beach soccer team who were staying there for the FIFA world beach soccer tournament. The opening night of the tournament was a great spectacle that included shutting down the main road, four stages of live music and a huge firework show. Papeete was the place to be on that night!   On our last day in Tahiti we went to a half-day student fair and spent the afternoon being driven around Tahiti (which takes 2-3 hours) by the lovely Poe Bessert and her wonderful mother LANI.

We saw the only white sand beach in Tahiti (all the others have black sand), fern grottos, waterfalls, a blowhole and the beautiful east coast. On the way we also met up with Danilo and Cecile who gave us each a stunning handmade poster of French Polynesia, drawn by Danilo. The drive ended at sunset at the spot where James Cook landed at Tahiti.   When it was time to say leave it was wonderful to have Christelle, Ariitea and Alex all come to the airport to say goodbye and give me a shell necklace (a tradition in Tahiti when someone leaves).

I would love to say a big thank you to Christelle, Ariitea, Tiffany, Alex, Vaima, Patrick, Rahiti, Poe, LANI, Mary, Daniel, Mahinateata, Danilo and Cecile; and of course to Christine and Chris (my fellow travel buddies). Tahiti was a stunning place to visit and you all made my trip truly amazing.

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Students and employers meet at ITC Botany

Posted on 09/10/2013 by

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ITC’s Botany Campus held its industry expo on 3 September. As always the campus and students were looking immaculate.

Another excellent group of speakers , with guests from American Express Travel, AVSEC, Auckland Bridge Climb and Bungy, Explore NZ, Harvey World Travel and Intercity.

Each presenter was assigned two students to help them set up and to keep a steady stream of tea and coffee flowing. As many excited students had arrived early, a number of presenters had to walk through the crowd by the entrance to the college, with one commenting that it was like being a film star on the red carpet!

The students were very impressed with each of the presentations, but the array of prohibited items confiscated by AVSEC at the airport caused the most interest – it is amazing to see what people think they can legitimately bring through security at our airports!  The goodies from American Express were also a big hit, especially the flasks.

Employers certainly view the ITC expo as a recruitment tool and are always on the lookout for their next super star. The presenters discussed the students, particularly those who asked questions throughout the presentations – those students did their employment chances no harm at all. Every year there are a number of students at each campus who gain part-time or full-time employment due to first the impression they make in the presenters during the expo.

The day finished with staff and presenters sharing a well-earned lunch, which allows ITC staff to interact with the industry representatives in an informal setting with a lot of information gathering and sharing on both sides.

The students got a great deal out of the day and their feedback was overwhelming positive:

“Helped by explaining different options that I hadn’t thought about before.”

“The day helped me to broaden my career thoughts and expand my knowledge on companies that I never would have though of as a career choice.”

“Gave me options to think about. Positive thoughts gained.”

“Made me realise there is more to life than flight attending.”

“Described the things we needed to have to be able to apply for their jobs.”

“Presenter spoke clearly and had valuable info about the company.”

“Very organised, was a good speaker and the content was interesting.”

“Explained more about what we should know about the job and also the qualification and requirements that they needed.”

“They made me want to apply for their job, presented it well.”

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ITC Students meet the Industry!

Posted on 19/09/2013 by

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ITC’s City Campus held its industry expo on 27 August.

Presenters from seven companies came to speak to the students and we are very grateful to AVSEC, American Express Travel, Auckland Bridge Climb and Bungy, Eco Zip, Intercity, Renaissance Tours, and Stray for their presentations.

The expo had a professional feel, as ITC wanted the students to experience a real industry event. The presenters had banners and posters promoting their businesses and the students all arrived looking very professional.

The students were organised into seven groups and each presenter gave a 20-minute presentation to each of the groups throughout the morning.

The main purpose of each presentation was to enlighten our students about the company, the sector of travel and tourism in which the company specialises, the speaker’s story of how they got to where they are today and some useful recruitment information. The presenters do amazingly well to fit all this into 20 minutes!

Most of the presenters brought an ITC graduate who is now working with them. This gave the current students are real sense that the careers they were discussing were achievable, as the students could identify with the graduate as someone like themselves.

The day went without a hitch, with students moving quickly between sessions and quiet reigning over the whole college during the presentations.

The expo was also open to our Distance Learning students and it was great to see a number of them there on the day, with one even organising her own work experience with one of the presenters.

The day went extremely well with extremely positive feedback from students:

“They were very informative and I enjoyed the vibe in the room while they were presenting.”

“He was passionate, had great knowledge and sold it as a fun way to work or experience.”

“He was very outgoing and easy to understand, he was funny and had good body language, which gave us a good impression.”

“She was really passionate about her job and shared her experiences with us.”

“They were lively, and made the audience participate in their presentation to help remember their information.”

”Made me think that anything is possible and there is so much you can put into travel and tourism.”

“Opened my eyes to many career paths.”

“Eco-tourism is a new product that has just come into the tourism industry and it really sparked my interest to start a career.”

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Guest blog – Blogger at Large – Cruise questions?

Posted on 04/09/2013 by

In this blog, we again, would like to introduce you to Megan Singleton who has been travel writing for 1 years and blogging for 7. It’s been a fantastic ride (as you can probably guess). She has over 400 posts here where you’ll find reviews, tips, itinerary ideas, recommendations for places to stay and things to do and all sorts of tidbits from her travels.

She has been chuffed to receive the US Travel Association Travel Writers Award in 2009 and 2011 and she is on the list of NZs Top 50 Tweeters.

Thinking about taking your first cruise but have an armful of questions?

Here are some of the most common cruising questions and her answers as best she can.

Check out this blog from ‘Blogger at Large’
http://www.bloggeratlarge.com/cruising/7-common-cruise-questions/

Cruise ship

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Are you ready to fly high?

Posted on 27/08/2013 by

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Since 1996 the International Travel College of New Zealand (ITC) has been focused on providing training that gets students jobs in the airline, airport, travel and tourism industries.

With two Airport Training Centres at its City and Botany Campuses, ITC students get experience with the technology, the practical processes and the customer service skills they will need in their future careers.

The huge Airport Training Centres simulate real-world airports, including check in, customs, gate lounges, and planes where students are trained in all aspects of in-flight service. Training also incorporates the Ready to Check in online check in system, currently used by many airlines worldwide.

ITC is also committed to getting on-site experience for its students. This entails students helping out behind the scenes at industry events, and an increasing number of agreements with local industry employers, who are keen to give ITC students part-time work opportunities while they study.

“We’ve got great relationships with the industries we work with, and the practical nature of our courses means that our graduates are ready to work in their chosen fields,” says ITC’s Marketing Director Claire Huxley. “That translates into great job placement rates and a willingness from our industry partners to provide our students with work experience.”

“This whole experience has really shown me that what the tutors say to us at ITC is true – they push and encourage students to go for their dreams and never give up. My training at ITC has definitely helped me with my confidence and knowledge of the travel and tourism industry and thanks to them and my hard work it has all paid off, now I am in going to Dubai to embark on an exciting career as flight attendant for Emirates!” said graduate Lisi Kaihau.

Both ITC’s Botany and City Campuses have a few spaces on their last 2 courses in 2013, so it’s not too late to enrol now! Find out how you can launch your career in the airline, airport, and travel and tourism industries by phoning the ITC Team now 0800 868747 or (09) 373 5510 for more information, or check our website www.itc.co.nz

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Giving it a shot – ITC’s Short Course Competition

Posted on 17/08/2013 by

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The International Travel College of New Zealand (ITC) has recently had such an abundance of talented and passionate students attending its short courses that the college decided to give them an opportunity to get creative and show what they are made of, says ITC’s Short Course Tutor Mel Verwijmeren.

Named “Be in to win”, the competition was open to past and present short course students. Entrants were asked to create a video blog to showcase their experience at ITC, with a focus on what the course did for them personally and how it influenced them in making decisions about their future.

“We had 13 amazing entries from a variety of secondary schools,” says Mel. “It was a tough decision to make, but the top three students were chosen for their creativity, attitude, and determination along with the excellent content they submitted.”

The three major prizewinners took away a bungy and full bridge Climb with Auckland Bridge Climb and a bungy and jet boat experience with Auckland Adventure Jet Boat.

The other 10 students who entered did not walk away empty handed, either, says Mel. “It took a lot of courage and determination to enter this competition, so we awarded these students a small gift pack to congratulate them on showing they can achieve anything if they just put their mind to it.”

“Sometimes it’s as easy as putting yourself out there and giving things a shot, regardless of the outcome or whether you take away the ‘big’ prize,” says Mel. “For the entrants, the satisfaction of completing something and taking charge of their future was a prize in itself, and as all our students know, this attitude is highly sought after in the travel and tourism industry.”

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ITC accepted as one of the best by Quality Education

Posted on 14/08/2013 by

Lesley Quality Education

The International Travel College of New Zealand (ITC) has been accepted as a Quality Education College.

“We are really proud to be associated with Quality Education,” says ITC’s Managing Director Claire Huxley. “They have a reputation in the industry for only working with the best.”

Quality Education is part of Quality English Ltd (QE), a company registered in England and Wales that carefully selects the best of English language schools around the world.

Building on the success of Quality English, Quality Education is described on its website as being “the new global brand for quality independent course providers teaching in English”

Eligible schools are invited to apply and undergo a series of quality checks, including a visit. The schools are then able to use the QE logo and have a presence on its website, where students can search for schools by country and subject.

“QE regularly checks the standards of the schools it associates with to monitor their quality,” says Claire. “They are essentially putting their reputation on the line each time they accept a new school or college to be part of their brand.”

ITC has welcomed and supported the advent of the new brand and its global reach by being second in the world to become a Quality Education College.

“We were only pipped at the post by Sterling College in Perth,” laughs Claire. “Quality English has such a strong reputation in English language teaching that we jumped at the chance to be associated with the launch of this new brand supporting programmes taught in English.”

ITC, which has been a premium supplier of full-time and part-time training programmes for the airline, travel and tourism industries since 1996, is well placed to understand the importance of being associated with a well-known global brand.

“Travel and tourism is by its very nature an international affair,” says Claire. “We are thrilled to be part Quality Education and value the opportunity it will bring to engage with new students from around the world.”

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Graduation 2013 – a night of fireworks and magic

Posted on 06/08/2013 by

ImageToni Waterhouse, ITC’s Academic Support Coordinator, reports on this year’s graduation ceremony.

The 4th of July, America’s Independence Day, was the perfect day to celebrate our graduates’ success as they embarked on the next chapter in their lives.

Guest Speaker Kevin Biggar, from TV programme ‘First Crossings’, kindly came along to watch future successes take to the stage and to share his journey of self discovery, struggles and stardom. He provided enough motivation and drive to spark the light in many of us.

We embraced our multicultural college with many students in traditional dress, and a fantastic performance by the La Fuze Dance Crew. On the back of their Miss World NZ act, they treated us to a mixture of cultural and current dance moves, lathered in oil – They certainly knew how to entertain a crowd!

Special thanks to the wonderful people of our industry, who not only attended the night to scope out the talent but who graciously donated gifts for our Special Awards. We give warm thanks to the Langham Hotel, YHA, Intercity, Rainbows End, Nomads, Explore NZ, EcoZip Adventures, Sky Jump Auckland, Fullers, Auckland Bridge Bungy, Jucy and Stray Tours.

Congratulations to all of the students who graduated on the night, in particular Romain Villard and Elizabeth Adams who were awarded Student of the Year from the City and Botany Campuses respectively. And congratulations to the family, friends and staff who supported them along the way. The students have achieved greatness under our wings, but it is now time for them to set out on their own. As Socrates said: ‘To find yourself, think for yourself’ and remember the best is yet to come!

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An Excellent Season For Travel and Tourism Graduates

Posted on 02/08/2013 by

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International Travel College of New Zealand (ITC) Account Manager Ceri Jenkins has noticed an upturn in the entry-level employment market.

“If current vacancies are a reflection of the state of the industry, the future is looking very positive,” says Ceri. “I cannot remember a winter season where so many companies have contacted us to advertise entry-level roles with almost immediate starts.”

The vacancies are across a broad range of sectors, including adventure tourism, car rental, travel agency, airline, accommodation, airport and tour operators.

Ceri says there are a number of contributing factors to the upturn in the market: “There seems to be a genuine confidence out there from both employers and employees.

“Employees are taking the next step in their careers and creating entry-level vacancies, and employers are planning ahead and training new staff now to ensure they are ready when peak season arrives.”

Ceri says there is no doubt that the lure of Australia is still a factor in creating entry-level positions, with employers recounting stories of staff leaving to chase more money; but ITC’s graduates are benefiting greatly from this upturn.

The key recruitment period in the travel and tourism industry is traditionally from September to November, notes Ceri.

“If the entry-level job market is this busy now, it seems an indication that the 2013/2014 season will be an excellent one for New Zealand’s travel and tourism industry.”

ITC has been a premium supplier of full-time and part-time training programmes for the airline, travel and tourism industries since 1996, and has campuses in Botany and central Auckland.

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Introducing Amy McPhail

Posted on 20/07/2013 by

Amy
I am so delighted to introduce myself as a new Travel and Tourism Tutor here at ITC.

I began my career in travel just as you are, as a student studying towards a Certificate in Travel, Tourism and Business. This gave me a great foundation to launch my career and introduced me to the wide variety of work available in this exciting industry.

After completing my study I moved to Australia and began my first job in travel working for the Hilton Hotel in Brisbane. My dream of becoming a flight attendant came true when I was hired by Virgin Australia to be part of the crew that would launch Virgin’s new international airline out of Sydney. After four years in Australia I decided it was time to return home and have since worked for a travel wholesaler and as a travel agent.

My favourite part of working in the travel and tourism Industry is, of course, the travel. I have been extremely fortunate to see some amazing destinations through my work including Fiji, Thailand, the United States of America, South Africa, Italy, Austria and Switzerland. Working in travel can be extremely rewarding and fun. If you work hard and want to succeed the world truly is your oyster!

I can genuinely say that I have used all of the skills that I learnt through my Certificate in Travel at some point in my career, and that is why I am so thrilled that I will be teaching such a practical and valuable course. As a tutor I hope to be able to inspire in you the same passion for this industry that I have discovered, and I can’t wait to share my knowledge and experiences with you.

I’d like to leave you with one of my favourite travel quotes: The world is like a book and those who do not travel read only a page – Saint Augustine.
I look forward to meeting you all!
Amy McPhail

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