ISANA NZ’s response to COVID-19

Ms Caroline Stevenson

ISANA NZ has had to rethink our role, projects and procedures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a response to this new and challenging environment, we have focused on connecting with the industry as much as possible, collaborating cross-sector and also being creative in our approach to communications and delivering professional support.

It became evident ISANA NZ needed to be creative in the way we were going to support our members through this unprecedented time. Providing a platform for our members to connect and form an online community to support each other was most important. We established weekly online catch-up forums that have become an important communication tool for many in the industry, we have run 22 cafes with up to 115 attendees. Cross-sector collaboration is what ISANA NZ has also deemed necessary, meeting regularly with relevant government bodies and organisations to provide up to date information to our members. Finally, ISANA NZ has had to improvise and be creative in providing the professional development support our members have needed to be resilient during this crisis. We have recognised specific needs and tailored 7 webinars to these. We also developed our first online micro course with 72 participants. The course theme is International Student Experience and runs for 6 weeks.

Connecting early, building collaborative networks and being creative in our response to the pandemic has enabled us to provide the industry with relevant and timely support, continue to be a leading professional body and almost double our membership.

Caroline Stevenson is currently the Communication and Events Director for ISANA NZ is enjoying her role with ISANA NZ, assisting all institutions in providing the best care and support to our international students. She has over 20 years’ experience in the international education industry in NZ and overseas and is extremely passionate about the industry and what New Zealand can offer international students. Caroline spent a wonderful 12 years setting up the ESOL and International Student departments at Te Puke High School. She has completed many roles in an international student department including Director of International Students, HOD ESOL, homestay management, marketing, recruitment and compliance.

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