Qian (Emily) Dong - Early Childhood Teacher

Originally from Beijing, Emily chose the Graduate Diploma in Teaching because she knew the University of Auckland’s strong international reputation would help her land a good job. She’s now working at the community centre where she completed her practicum.

“It has always been my dream to become an early childhood teacher. It’s a very rewarding and fulfilling occupation which provides many opportunities to make a positive difference to tamariki’s (children’s) lives.

“I chose the Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Early Childhood Education) because the University of Auckland is a world-renowned University, with access to a wide range of academic resources to help me further my education.

“I liked that the programme covered both the theoretical and practical aspects of ECE, with lots of professional development opportunities, lovely librarians, and friendly classmates from different parts of the world. If I have to choose one thing that I enjoyed most about the programme, it would be the professional and supportive lecturers who are very knowledgeable in this field, willing to share their experiences and answer questions, and good at delivering the class in a fun and interactive way.

As an international student at the Faculty of Education and Social Work,
I felt very supported. 

Qian (Emily) Dong

“At the beginning of the programme, we had an English course for academic reading and writing for all the international students who needed it, and the library held several workshops throughout the year. I really appreciated having an international student mentor, as well as job-seeking advice from the University’s career development and employability service.

“I was lucky enough to get a job offer from the centre where I did my second practicum and I’ve been working in this community centre for almost two years. The philosophy of the centre aligns well with the philosophy of teaching I developed during my study.”

Emily's top tips for students

  • Try to be present in every class as all the lecturers are like thought-provoking treasures from whom you can really learn a lot.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help of any kind. There will always be someone who’s willing to give you a hand and guide you through patiently.
  • Manage your time wisely, especially in terms of assignments – and remember to take some time to relax.