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Itthipat Khechonsat is a current student at Future Skills' Royal Oak branch, studying Health & Wellbeing (Caregiving) Level 2.

Originally from Thailand, Itthipat has been living in New Zealand for more than a decade.

Before beginning programme, Itthipat worked as a house attendant in a hotel. He was happy in his work, but says: “I wanted more from life".

Itthipat loves taking care of people, especially the elderly. It was while caring for his partner who was undergoing an operation at Auckland Hospital, that Itthipat realised his real calling.

“I saw the nurses and support workers working around the clock, taking care of people. They were doing a great job and patients were happy. I, too, wanted to do something similar - care for fellow human beings and make them happy,” he says.

The experience at the hospital inspired him to change the course of his life.

“I was looking for a new opportunity when I first saw this course in caregiving. Almost instantly, I knew this was what I wanted to do. The fact that it was free helped me make a quick decision,” he says.

Itthipat loves coming to school every day.

“It feels like a second home to me. The school has opened new avenues for me – learning about new cultures, getting new experiences, making new friends, and learning new things,” he says

He is thankful to his tutor, Maria, who helped him throughout his programme.

“Maria is great and extremely helpful. She holds the class together, despite students coming in from different backgrounds. She understands different cultures and is considerate and kind,” he says.

After completing this programme, Itthipat aims at starting work immediately.

“I would love to join an organisation where I can put my study into practice and show my passion to care for people. I think it is very important to study. People do not realise the benefit of education. They are stuck at home. They need to come out and study again to give new meaning to life,” he says.