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“Kia Ora!” : Welcome to Auckland –
The City of Sails
 
The staff would like to welcome you to Auckland Language Centre. We look forward to your arrival and to making your stay enjoyable and successful.
 
To help you prepare for your trip we have compiled the following information, which we believe will help you adapt more quickly to a new country, climate, college, customs and lifestyle.
 
Awesome Auckland
 
Located on the shores of the Waitemata Harbour and with a population of 1.3 million, Auckland is New Zealand’s largest and most cosmopolitan city, and the centre of NZ’s business and culture.
 
In Auckland you can enjoy theatre, the arts, restaurants, sporting events, outdoor activities and more. The central business district, where ALC is located, is surrounded by some beautiful parks and reserves, and just a short drive away are located some of Auckland ‘s finest beaches.
 
Auckland is a multicultural society, drawn from many ethnic backgrounds, where Maori European and Asian cultures mix in an atmosphere of friendly tolerance.
 
Language Difficulties
 
Most of you may experience some difficulty speaking English. This is natural. You will be using conversational English which is probably different from what you were taught in high school. It will take time to become proficient in your speech. When you talk with your host family, teachers or friends, ask them to speak clearly, slow down or repeat themselves. These people are excellent sources of new words and phrases. Ask them for help with your pronunciation and vocabulary. They will be happy to help. If you become tired and frustrated when you do not learn as quickly as you would like, relax and slow down. Be patient. It takes time.
 
Asking for help...
 
If there is something you don't understand, or something you are not sure how to deal with, ask someone for help or advice. If you do not ask, we cannot help you.

" I don't understand. Can you explain this to me?"
" Can you help me please?"
" I am sad / confused / homesick. Can I talk with you about it?"
" I would like some help with homework / English / new friends”

Weather
 
Auckland has very changeable weather and has been said to have 'four seasons in one day'. The climate ranges from warm to hot summers to cold crisp winters. It does not snow in the city but skiing is very popular in the mountains a few hours drive away.
 
November to April is warm to hot (Max. 18 – 30 degrees C)
 
May to October is cool to cold and often windy and wet (Max. 7 – 18 degrees C)
 
What to bring
 
Clothing
 
• light, comfortable clothing for the warmer months (T-shirts, shorts, sandals etc.)
• wind proof jacket, pullover, jeans, jacket and strong shoes or boots for the colder months
• raincoat and strong umbrella, as Auckland can get wet and windy
 
All types of clothing can be purchased in Auckland.
 
Electrical Appliances
 
These are all available in New Zealand and operate on 240 volts. Fit your appliances with New Zealand style plugs which you can buy in Auckland.
 
Food
 
All Asian products and most European food products are readily available in Auckland and you do not need to bring these with you. As New Zealand has been an isolated country for many years and is relatively free from pests and harmful insects there are very strict quarantine laws controlling the importation of food and plants.
 
Do not bring any plant or animal material in to the country (eg. Mushrooms, fruit, Chinese herbs, pork, noodles, spices etc.). However, if you must bring any of these please remember...
 
 
The following classes of goods must be declared on your New Zealand Passenger Arrival Card:
 
·        food of any kind
·        plants or parts of plants (alive or dead)
·        animals (alive or dead) or their products
·        equipment used with animals
·        equipment such as camping gear, golf clubs, and used bicycles
·        biological specimens.
 
Passengers who fill out the Quarantine section of the declaration card incorrectly, risk an instant fine of $200. This is in addition to the prospect of a fine of up to $100,000, or a prison term of up to 5 years for serious breaches of the New Zealand Bio-security laws.
 
Please see the New Zealand Customs service website for more details:
www.customs.govt.nz/index.htm
 
Students travelling on a Student Visa
 
Students on a student visa need to comply with certain conditions:
 
1. Students must have an attendance level of 80%
2. Students must notify ALC of any change of address
3. Students must meet course requirements
4. Students may not work unless you have applied for permission to work and hold a work permit and work visa.
 
Please ask the Registrar for more information, or see the New Zealand Immigration services website:
www.immigration.govt.nz
 
Health Cover
 
Medical treatment in New Zealand can be very expensive, so everyone should have some form of health insurance. Auckland Language Centre can organise insurance for you. If you need health insurance please complete and return the two Southern Cross Healthcare forms to “The Registrar”.
 
Banking
 
If you are staying in New Zealand for more than 12 weeks you should open a bank account. Most savings accounts come with a plastic "cash card" which you can use to access automatic teller machines (ATMs) 24 hours a day to withdraw and deposit money. All the major banks are located close to ALC and we will assist you during orientation with opening a bank account if you need one.
 
Postal Mail
 
Please ensure that any mail that is sent to you by post has your name clearly written in English script, with the word Student on it.
 
Example:   John Smith – Student
                 Auckland Language Centre...
 
 
Your arrival in New Zealand
 
If you have reserved an airport pick-up, a representative of our transfer company will meet you at the airport. Look for the ALC sign. If you cannot find the representative, please wait in front of the flower shop and our staff will come and find you.
 
Very Important :Please put the Kiwi picture on your bag so that we can recognise you!
 
Your first day at Auckland Language Centre- Orientation
 
On the Monday that your course begins you must attend enrolment and orientation day.
 
On this day you will complete an English test to assess your level of English and follow a special orientation program for new students.
 
What to bring:       

      Passport
      Letter of Acceptance from Auckland Language Centre
      A pen and paper

Programme:

9:00 am
Introduction to the Registrar
9:05 am English Placement Test and Interview
10:15 am Introduction to the Student Services staff
10:30 am Morning break
11:00 am Walk around downtown Auckland
11:00 am Orientation in your own language with student services staff
12:15 pm Lunch break
1:15 pm Afternoon class for full-time students


In our orientation program you will learn how to use public transport; you will find out more about visa regulations, about homestay and other accommodation issues, about the structure of the academic program at ALC, timetable details, holidays, school policies and facilities, recreational activities and more. There are also two questionnaires for you to complete to help us to improve our service.
 
Regular class times
 
Regular school days are structured as follows:

Morning Class    9:00 am – 12:15 am
(Morning Break   10:40 am –11:00 am)
Lunch       12:15 pm - 1:15 pm
Afternoon Class  1:15 pm - 3:15 pm
(Afternoon Break  2:20 pm - 2.30 pm)

In addition to regular classes you may also be involved in a number of excursions and activities outside the classroom.
 
Teaching Methods
 
Our teachers are dedicated to helping every student to learn English as quickly and effectively as possible. The emphasis is on communication, and a wide range of resources and the most up-to-date and appropriate methods are used to ensure that every learner achieves their potential.
 
Teachers at ALC use a blend of proven approaches and challenging new ideas, and take into account a range of learning styles and cultural backgrounds. You may be a little surprised by the new style of lessons in your first week, but will soon find that you are able to communicate with others in the class and become independent outside the class. Please remember to tell a teacher about any individual difficulties you may have; they will always be happy to help you.
 
Homestay
 
Living in a homestay is an ideal way of quickly becoming familiar with a new culture and environment, and there is greater progress in English language skills. All homestay hosts of Auckland Language Centre speak English as the first language in their homes, and are otherwise very diverse in their ethnic origin, religion, age and family situation.
 
In an ALC homestay you will be provided with a furnished single room, breakfast and dinner on weekdays and three meals on weekends (if you are at home). We will do our best to find a homestay situation which matches your interests and preferences, however it is rare to find a "perfect match".
 
While you cannot think of yourself as a guest in a hotel, you must also realise that you are not at home with your own family. Expect things to be done very differently, Meals, chores, rules and responsibilities will be different. Family structures also vary because of the many races, cultures and ethnic origins that exist in New Zealand. Every family has a different way of doing things, different values, and different expectations of the family members. Learning to fit into the family will help you to understand New Zealand cultures and values.
 
If you become unhappy in your homestay situation, please speak to someone in the Homestay department. If after discussing your situation you would still like to move out, you must give two weeks notice to your homestay family and to ALC.
 
 
Cost of Living (per week)
 
If you are planning to live independently, ie. not in a homestay, you can find shared accommodation from $80-$130, or rent a one-bedroom flat from $130-$200. You should budget approximately $10 for electricity and gas, $60 for food, $40 for public transport and at least $30 for miscellaneous expenses such as telephone, medical costs, entertainment, etc. In total, you should expect to be spending $250 - $300 per week.
 
Student Services
 
The Student Services Department assists with finding suitable accommodation and can help you with a wide range of issues including employment, legal and financial problems, academic counselling, visa issues, recreation, etc. Furthermore, the Student Counsellor is available to discuss, in strict confidence, any difficulties and personal problems (homesickness, health issues, etc) that you may have from time to time.
 
In the case of an emergency only you may ring the following number after you arrive in New Zealand.

0800 106 108
 


All the staff at Auckland Language Centre wish you a safe journey and look forward to welcoming you to Auckland!


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