Evelyn Barbosa De Araujo Tenorio started studying at Otago Polytechnic when she first moved to New Zealand from Brazil in 2009. She started off with English classes, in her words “I had no English, I could say ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’, that’s it!”
Evelyn then took five years off to have a baby, and be with her young family. But the call of study was strong, and she returned to study Information Technology at the School of Enterprise and Development. “Staff at Student Success were so good. They really helped me get through. I am a mother, I work 30 hours a week AND English is my second language … actually, it’s my third!”
Evelyn says it’s difficult, but she feels extremely well supported, and she thoroughly enjoys studying. “The lecturers are all so patient, so good. They guide me all the way. Everyone is so understanding.”
Evelyn has just finished the Certificate in Information Technology (Level 4), and will return for two more years to complete a Bachelor of Applied Management. “I don’t think I’ll finish in 2018 though” she laughs, “I think I’ll look at a Masters!”
Evelyn has also taken on the role of Student Ambassador this year. “We help at events around the Polytechnic. My highlight was hosting the US Ambassador and a NASA representative.”
Despite all the pressures on her life, Evelyn knows she can do what she puts her mind to. “I don’t have that fear that I won’t be able to do this. I know that the Otago Polytechnic staff are with me, helping me all the way”.