After reopening its borders to the rest of the world for two years as a result of the pandemic, New Zealand has announced a new global marketing campaign that brings light to the country’s “unique attributes for international students”.
Featuring in the campaign are 8 unique stories of international students from India, the USA, China, Germany, Colombia, Japan, Germany, Vietnam, and Thailand. Representing India in the campaign is Tiara Das, a student of Health Science - Psychology and Neuroscience offered by the University of Otago, Dunedin.
Authentically rooted in the values of Te Ao Maori, the stories in the campaign focus on the experiences and goals of the students, exploring themes of career readiness, innovation through collaboration, and sustainability.
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As part of the campaign, Education New Zealand invited eight international students to collaborate with Kiri Nathan, a globally reputed fashion designer. Through the collaboration, a new type of education garment embodying the cultural values of New Zealand is being designed. The education garment is expected to embody the cultural values of - manaakitanga, which translates to “care of people”, kaitiakitanga, which translates to “care of place”, and the “potiki spirit of youthful energy and finding a better way”, reported News18.
In her statement, Ms Nathan highlighted that the “traditional academic gown worn by students when they graduate is a symbol of achievement, capturing a snapshot in time.” She added that the garment, also called the ‘kakahu’, also symbolises the cultural journey that the students have taken up and will continue to for the rest of their lives.
Ms Nathan added that the experience of students studying and living in New Zealand will have changed them, “weaving and sharing the values of Te Ao Maori” to their own unique cultures. Representing this change and integration, Ms Nathan added that the final kakahu designs are, just like the students, a collaborative effort, inspiring and globally-minded.
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Best known for her extensive experience in infusing the modern fashion world with the Te Ao Maori roots, Ms Nathan has developed unique pieces for prominent international figures like the Duchess of Sussex, Beyonce, and even the former US president Barak Obama.
Grant McPherson, the Chief Executive of Education New Zealand, explained the campaign, stating that the international students are invited to “bring [their] whole self” when studying in New Zealand. He added that both the students as well as New Zealand benefit from international students studying at their renowned universities.
While international students benefit from the “high-quality education that embodies innovation, practical learning” as well as the country’s cultural values collaboratively preparing them for their future, New Zealand benefits from international students by learning from them “and build[ing] a future that is connected, strong and adaptable”.
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