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Gilbert To

Graduate Diploma in Hotel Management



Filipino student Gilbert To has gained valuable hands-on experience during his course at OPAIC.

Gilbert worked at a casino in a hotel back in the Philippines, but says that was quite different to the work he’s undertaken as part of his Graduate Diploma in Hotel Management.

He completed his internship at the Ibis Budget Hotel in Auckland where he had already been working part-time.

“By doing my internship there it felt like I was working full time. So I came to know the operations…procedures in the hotel. I think it worked out great for me.”

The course was challenging at first, but he settled in after setting his mind to learning all the new terms by heart in his first study block.

His work experience has allowed him to learn about the different cultures of different people.

“In the hotel different people come and go. I’ve learned best from New Zealand citizens or New Zealand guests.”

The Kiwis he’s met have helped him get familiar with New Zealand slang, he says.

One of the best things about OPAIC is the students, according to Gilbert.

Studying at an international campus allowed him to get to know classmates from different places and learn about their cultures.

He’s learned a lot about the Indian culture in particular. He now knows about their food, religion and language.

Gilbert’s made a lot of friends at OPAIC, including some from the Philippines.

He came to study in New Zealand on the recommendation of his older brother who already lived here.

Gilbert’s enjoying life here, particularly the nature and the friendly people, who always greet you in passing.

He recommends OPAIC to people back home and says they should come here to experience the country and its academic offerings.