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 has always been 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, enumeration 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 amount of time allotted for self-directed learning. Tutors are there to only provide guidance but the accomplishment of assessments remained the responsibility of the student. The assessments are mostly essays and reports with certain number of words to be met and a marking rubric that needs to be followed on the dot. 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 through the guidance and support from the faculties and staff of Toi Ohomai. The institution welcomes international students with great warmth and acceptance. They ensure that each student finds a good accommodation and provides seminars from time to time that tackles the basic things that a student needs to know to 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.