The education system in New Zealand is very different from the education system in the Philippines. In the Philippines, everything you need to know to ace an examination is always provided by the teachers with enough time to study. All learning times are done in a classroom setting and the examinations are mostly written multiple choice questions, remuneration or fill in the blanks. There were very few written assessments in essay or report format. In New Zealand on the other hand, there are certain amounts of time allotted for self-directed learning. Tutors are only there to provide guidance so that the assessments remain the responsibility of the student. The assessments are mostly essays and reports with a certain number of words to be met and a marking rubric that needs to be followed to a tee. Personally, I struggled with the fact that not all online sources are accepted as a credible reference in writing your essays or reports. This is something very new to me because in the Philippines, this was not emphasized at least during the time that I was still in school.
Even with these said difficulties, I managed to finish my studies with the guidance and support of the faculty and staff at Toi Ohomai. The institution welcomes international students with great warmth and acceptance. They ensure that each student finds good accommodation. They also provide seminars that cover the basic things that students need to know to help them do the assessments right. During the time that I was with Toi Ohomai I never felt like a foreigner. Rather, I felt like I was home.