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CAB Opens Service For International Students

CAB Opens Service For International Students

The Citizens Advice Bureau International Students Service Centre is being officially opened today by Prime Minister Helen Clark. Located on the 12th floor of Woollongong House on Auckland’s Queen Street, the service is the first free independent information service dedicated to international students in New Zealand.

Nick Toonen, Chief Executive of the New Zealand Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux says, “Earlier this year the need for this service was identified by Auckland City Council, Study Auckland and the Citizens Advice service. The Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students requires education providers to support students with access to information about everyday life in New Zealand. These support systems are not monitored so while some education providers offer extensive support to students, others offer very little.

“Citizens Advice Bureaux have been providing free, impartial, independent information, support and advice to people in New Zealand for thirty years. Since it began the Citizens Advice service has evolved to meet the changing needs of our society, such as those which have been identified in Auckland.

“The extension of our service to support international students fits very comfortably with our aim of ensuring that individuals know about their rights and responsibilities and the services available, and are able to express their needs effectively.”

The International Students Service is open to students of all ethnicities who can contact its trained Citizens Advice advisers by phone, email or in person. The centre will also facilitate workshops and clinics by specialist agencies in a range of languages.

Prominent Auckland businessman Thomas Wang and his wife Jenny have funded the development of the centre and running costs for a three month pilot. CABAdmin, the collective of ten Auckland City bureaux which administers the new service, hopes to secure additional funding to allow this new initiative to continue. If successful, this model could be used in other main centres to cater for the needs of international students. -Ends- For more information please contact Nick Toonen, Chief Executive, New Zealand Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux, T: 04 382 8759, M: 027 6882790.

Address details for the Citizens Advice Bureau International Students Service Centre are: 12th floor, Woollongong House, 155 Queen Street, Auckland City. T: 09 309 3478, E: cab.iss@xtra.co.nz.

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