Sara Cuevas (right) with NZTC Chief Executive Selena Fox
New Zealand Tertiary College (NZTC) student Sara Cuevas has taken her early childhood qualification global, studying towards a Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Education) in numerous countries over the course of three years.
With two young children, Sara had been looking for a Bachelor’s degree in early childhood education for a while, having already studied baby care, youth care and counselling. The Spanish native was living in India with her husband when she discovered the flexibility of being able to study online with NZTC while caring for her children and working.
“I could never have stopped working and just gone to college for three years. This really is the only option that would have worked for me,” said Sara.
Hailing from a large family, Sara has always been interested in early childhood development.
“Almost every job I’ve had has had something to do with children and their families,” she said.
After completing her first two years of study in India, Sara relocated to Germany where she completed her final year of the Bachelor of Education (ECE).
“I would study on my phone on the train, or my favourite thing to do was print out all the readings and then on the way to work I would sit and highlight my papers. You don’t need any frills for an online course; it’s very simple,” commented Sara.
Despite her extensive travel during her studies, Sara always felt supported and connected with NZTC.
“I felt a part of it, communicating with people in China, India, Singapore and New Zealand. Some of us are still good friends and we chat about our experiences,” she said.
Sara’s NZTC qualification has been recognised in Germany, and her employers are impressed with the content of her NZTC courses.
“If you have a degree from New Zealand, your qualification is highly respected. It automatically gives you credibility with people recognising straight away that you have a quality degree,” she said.
When asked about the challenges of travelling, working, studying and caring for her young children, Sara explained, “There is never a right time. If you want to do it, just do it, even if the circumstances aren’t perfect. I had friends tell me I was crazy as a working mum to take on a degree, but I think it was a good decision to just do it.”
Having now completed her undergraduate degree, Sara is contemplating the next steps for her studies and career progression.
“I would definitely like to get a masters degree. I’ve always had a dream of working with United Nation agencies in the field of early childhood, so supporting families and children will always be at the core of what I do.”