About Us

We understand that sometimes there is a gap between strategy and implementation. Of course, we all have the best interests of international students at heart, but many times the “how” of it all is quite overwhelming. How do you provide support to students if you do not have the practical support and professional training to do so? This is where we can help.

ISANA works with education professionals at the heart of International education. Not just the directors of international programmes or homestay coordinators. Every single person involved in the education of our international students: teachers, coaches, tutors, principals, senior managers and government body representatives. We are there for each of you.

Up until recently, it was not possible to study International Education in NZ. For an industry that brings in around NZ$5 billion annually (including tuition and spending by international students), this is simply not good enough for a sustainable sector.

ISANA is changing this.

Our goal is to professionalise international education by working to establish courses, modules and qualifications in international education. In fact, we are extremely proud to be part of the first ever post graduate course in International Education offered by Victoria University’s School of Education.

ISANA brings together voices from all sectors: primary, secondary and tertiary. By facilitating cross-sector knowledge sharing we create an environment where we learn from the experiences of our peers and support each other through the challenges international education practitioners face.

How do we do this?

  • Offering professional development and training focussed on relevant / important issues in international education e.g. International student mental health, professional boundaries, intercultural communication, culturally sensitive pedagogy, and many more high value topics
  • Professionalising international education. In other words, working to develop NZQA approved qualifications and modules with partners
  • Hosting a national conference with specialist speakers covering industry hot-topics
  • Ensuring members have easy access to the most recent industry research and information
  • Introducing members to an approachable and readily-accessible network of professionals
  • Providing additional knowledge and support through links with ISANA Australia
  • Encouraging professional standards through the ISANA Code of Ethics
  • Maintaining an online library of resources, easily accessible by members anywhere, anytime
  • Suggesting pathways for further collaborations and opportunities

The ISANA Story
ISANA’s story spans 30 years and although the name has changed a few times, the goal to empower practitioners in international education to provide the best possible support for international students has remained the driving force behind the association.

The Beginning
ISANA NZ traces its roots to the Overseas Student Advisers’ Network (OSAN). OSAN was established in 1989 in Australia in response to the growing number of international students studying at Australian universities. It was later renamed the International Student Advisers’ Network of Australia (ISANA). ISANA’s mission was to ensure that the international student experience in Australia was a positive one.

Becoming an Association
In 1997 ISANA become an incorporated association. In 1999 the association underwent another name change: ISANA: International Education Association. This new name was to reflect the broader roles members have across the international education industry.

ISANA in New Zealand
In 2001 the New Zealand branch of ISANA was formed. Previously, New Zealand professionals could hold membership to the Australian association, however it became increasingly clear that a New Zealand-based branch was needed.

In 2010, the New Zealand branch became an incorporated trust. ISANA International Education Association New Zealand Inc. Better known as ISANA NZ, the trust continues to work in association with ISANA Australia.

The Future
International students are a reality in NZ. In every sector of education international students make up part of the learning culture. The responsibility to ensure international students are properly supported does not lie on the shoulders of the international director. Every person who plays a part in their educational experience is responsible for their care. ISANA aims to provide greater training and professional development opportunities to international programme leaders, teachers, student support staff and government agency officials focused on international education. By ensuring international students are happy and active members of their learning communities, we are creating an environment where students are truly formed as global citizens.

ISANA believes in professionalisation. Creating and offering formal courses and qualifications is one way we safeguard our international education industry. Through the teaching of intercultural communication, strategies for student mental health and other important topics we lay the foundation for positive student experiences. ISANA pledges to continue working to professionalise the international education industry in New Zealand.

Charitable Trust – Providing awards, scholarships and research funding
In 2013, ISANA NZ established a second incorporated trust with the Charities Commission. The ISANA New Zealand Charitable Trust Inc. was set up to fund activities such as awards, scholarships, and research projects which benefit New Zealand’s international education industry. For more information on the charitable trust email: contact@isana.nz

Become a member today!