Initially, Kiwi idiosyncrasies and language baffled Laura.
“Kiwis talk fast and I wasn’t familiar with their expressions. It was hard. I thought I would be a Kiwi in just a year.”
Laura Cendak met her Kiwi boyfriend, Symond, on holiday. They soon realised it was serious, and she ventured across from her home country, Argentina.
She secured a job at the Embassy of Argentina, but realised there weren’t many opportunities to extend her workplace English.
Laura discovered the English for Employees course, which she sees as a second welcome, “It says you are here and we want you to develop your skills; you are not just here to clean our toilets and our kitchens.
“If you feel you belong, you start to be proud and to want what’s best for New Zealand.
“I have a different background and point of view. With problem solving I bring different issues to the debate. It enriches the whole team.
I’m proud of being Argentinean, but this is my home now.”
Being able to speak English with confidence means opportunities to develop herself and help others.
After all, isn’t that the Kiwi way?
Now as Wellington’s Settlement Support Coordinator, Laura has moved into the ‘Kiwi-speaking’ workforce, assisting newcomers and fulfilling her dream to lend a hand to others.
From Janie Walker’s article, Connecting Cultures, Issue 15