When I moved from the US to New Zealand way back in 1996, I thought transporting my degree would be an easy feat.  My mind held the notion that my homeland, like many of the other nations around the world, had discussed tertiary education requirements, compared them, and made standards about recognising them when someone moved from one country to another.

I was very wrong.

One of my American friends in New Zealand had applied, when she arrived to Aotearoa’s shores, to have her US qualification recognised.  Eight years later — that’s right, eight whole years later — she was told by The Powers That Be that her US qualification wouldn’t be recognised.

She’d paid a lot of money and spent a lot of time going back-and-forth to find out the degree she struggled for four years with, put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into, would not be recognised in New Zealand.  This meant she couldn’t work in the industry she’d trained in in New Zealand unless she gained a New Zealand qualification.

She wasn’t happy about that — I doubt that many of us if we were in her situation would be — and her and her partner and their family eventually moved back to the US.

While there is a greater degree of transparency now with the world’s globalisation due to the Internet’s growing influence on our daily lives, a great deal of uncertanity still exists with transfering qualifications from one country to another.

That’s the beauty of international qualifications.  As ITEC puts it, international qualifications “are easily transportable nationally and internationally.”  They set a standard not only within a country but also between countries as well.

And the standards are recognised by industry because industry is consulted by these international governing bodies on an ongoing basis.  The international examiner comes to the school and wants to see if our students meet the requirements of their syllabus.  They are truly independent; schools like ours hold no sway over who passes and who fails.  So these are truly independent and truly international.

When a student asks me why he or she should sit international examinations, the shortest but most thoughtful reply I can come back with is, “You never know where you will be 5, 10 years down the track.”  I didn’t.  If you told the 1992-me that I’d be living in New Zealand by 1996, I would have laughed at you and maybe called you “nuts”.  But, by 1996, I was living in New Zealand, so the words ring true.

I didn’t have the luxury of an international qualification that I could transport easily between countries.  Instead of going through a multi-year process before being possibly told “nope, we don’t recognise your degree that took you four years to complete” (it’s a four year system in the USA), I decided to apply to a New Zealand university, sit the number of papers required to pass a New Zealand degree, and graduate with a degree recognised in New Zealand that way.

When you are enrolled in one of our courses, we will discuss international examinations with you: requirements, which ones offer which subjects, and so on.  Even before we start the course, even at the interview stage, we make you aware of international examinations and qualifications.  Another piece of advice: start saving the day you know you are doing the course.  This way, you’ll be prepared to invest in your future as fully as you can when you apply for international examinations a little after half-way through your training.

You don’t know where you’re going to be in the future — I didn’t — so we highly recommend international qualifications.  If you want to discuss international qualifications in more detail, please feel free to contact us at the school, or feel free to visit the Info area on our Web site for more details.

Scott Fack is the Director of Operations for The National School of Aesthetics, the South Island’s leading beauty therapy, nail technology and spa therapies training provider.