Chinese student’s journey from enforcement to education
A “magical” self-driven honeymoon across the South Island in 2017 led Eddy Wang and his wife, Phoebe, to question their lives and for Eddy, his job as a Police Officer in China.
Fascinated with the “quiet yet vibrant” atmosphere of Christchurch and a dream of making a positive difference, the couple returned down under with Eddy enrolling in a Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Early Childhood Education) with New Zealand Tertiary College (NZTC).
“I had experience teaching children different musical instruments in a part-time job and I loved communicating with, observing and interacting with little musicians,” Eddy said.
“However, I had also found it difficult to plan classes to perfectly fit the needs of children in different age groups. So this was another motive, to understand the secret of education for young explorers.”
A year after moving to New Zealand, Eddy is thriving as an international NZTC student in Christchurch. He and his wife have settled into the laid-back lifestyle spending spare time fishing or hiking.
“Life in Christchurch is quieter, cleaner, and generally easier,” he said.
A big part of his positive experience has been constant support from the NZTC team and a “strong sense of belonging”.
Eddy Wang as a Police Officer in China
“The lecturers and student support at NZTC are absolutely amazing,” Eddy said. “My advice to other international students is to never be afraid or feel ashamed to ask questions, because at the end of the day, the college is there to support you in any way they can.”
Importantly, working in early childhood education has enabled Eddy to make the positive difference he sought. He illustrates this with a story of a three-year old girl at his home centre struggling to get used to the new environment.
“I started to build a relationship with her and while it took a lot of time and energy, it was worth it as I witnessed her social emotional development, and we eventually became friends,” he said.
“My heart was warmed when her whānau told me she’d often talk about me and the activities we did at home. She was no longer shy or grumpy when she arrived, instead running towards me asking for a cuddle.”
“When she left, her mother gave me a card expressing appreciation for the warm influence I had on her daughter. Becoming a teacher is both fulfilling and rewarding.”