Shanaka Fernando
Shanaka Fernando  -  Bachelor of Information Technology

Shanaka Fernando, originally from Sri Lanka, made the move to New Zealand to study at Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) and has now managed to land himself a job at SIT!

Having studied a Higher National Diploma in Computing and System Development at the International College of Business and Technology (ICBT) in Sri Lanka, Shanaka decided to look into studying in New Zealand. This idea was sparked by a visit from the International Department and Marketing Manager of SIT, Chami Abeysinghe. Chami visited ICBT and talked to students about SIT and the international student experience offered here.

With the package SIT offers international students appealing to Shanaka, and his previous study allowing him to fast-track his progress towards the Bachelor of Information Technology, he made the decision to move overseas and arrived in Invercargill.

Looking back at his experience of the course, Shanaka enjoyed his time studying and said “the tutors are really friendly and they helped me to finish successfully. I learned a lot coming here”.

Learning not just the course work, but how to interact, relate to and work with people here in New Zealand, has been valuable to Shanaka.

“I especially enjoyed working on our final project (developing a website for Owaka Museum), as my friend and I went to Owaka and stayed there for a couple of days, taking photos and notes etc. to be put on the website.”

Facilities-wise, Shanaka expressed that the IT labs were high quality and he stayed in SIT student apartment accommodation, which was handy to campus and a great environment in which to live.

There were also several workshops which were organised by SIT, where people came from different IT industries and the students could talk to them about what kind of jobs they had, their companies etc. This was a great way to make the course relevant and find out how their training was preparing them for reality and the job market once they had finished studying.

As Shanaka started studying in Sri Lanka straight after he finished high school and then continued his study here in New Zealand, he is glad to now have a full-time position in SIT’s IT department. His helpful presence is much appreciated by many of the SIT staff who need some IT assistance!