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Student Profiles

Ariana Dalton
Ngā Puhi, Serbian

Te Tohu Paetahi Ako (Bachelor of Education – Teaching)

Background Summary:

Ariana Dalton was 17 when her family flew her from Australia to study for a Bachelor of Education at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi.

“There wasn’t much discussion,” Ariana – now 20 – said. “My family knew I wanted to work with children, and my uncle had just completed Year 1 of the Bachelor of Education, and recommended it. So after living all my life in Australia, my Mum sent me back to my family in New Zealand, and three days later I started the course.

“I went with the flow. I just stayed on the waka, kept going, and made it to the end. I’ve just finished my final year.  I’m ready to be a primary school teacher – and I’m so thankful my family got me here to do this programme.”

Ariana said studying in the unique environment of Awanuiārangi made all the difference and helped her to succeed.

“Other universities are pretty big and I see that you’re just a number there, you’re just another person in a lecture room with 300 people. Awanuiārangi is completely different. I loved it. It’s more whānau oriented, you get a whole lot of one-on-one with your lecturers, and your peers are like family. 

“I never had my Māori side – didn’t know te reo, didn’t know anything. So, at first, the Māori environment seemed quite daunting but through whakawhanaungatanga I got to know everyone, and that made me feel more confident.”

The degree programme was a life-changing experience.

“Some people think they can’t achieve what they want to do. But at Awanuiārangi, you get the love and help of everyone around you. You get to succeed and then to pass that on and help our tamariki to succeed. I want to make an impact on the lives of our tamariki, and with what I’ve learnt through Awanuiārangi I feel confident that I can do that.”

Ariana intends to further her studies in education, and aims to complete both a Master of Indigenous Studies and a PhD within five years.