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10 things you didn’t know about ITC and our incredible team!

Posted on 24/01/2024 by

What is ITC’s connection to Sydney’s famous Mardi Gras celebration? Read on to find out!

The International Travel College – ITC – is special in so many ways.

You probably already know we’ve been helping students take their first steps into amazing travel and tourism careers for almost 30 years. You may have heard we have dedicated staff for helping students and graduates find and apply for industry roles. And you almost certainly know that you can take any of our courses online with our Study From Home option.

But there’s even more to us than that! Here are 10 incredible things you probably don’t already know about ITC, our whanau, and our graduates.

  1. ITC is proudly owned by one female owner, Claire Huxley

Claire Huxley is ITC’s Chief Executive Officer and a worldwide traveller. Her background in international travel and tourism and her own extensive travels, paired with her marketing background, make her an incredible leader for the International Travel College.

Even more impressive is the fact that Claire’s mother, Karen Houston, was the one who originally founded ITC. Karen started her career packing toilet paper as a teenager, then worked her way up to manage one of the UK’s top travel retailers before she discovered her passion for adult education and moved to New Zealand to live her dream.

Once settled in Auckland, she opened the doors of ITC in 1996.

  1. Mel Jenkins, ITC’s Marketing Manager became the first New Zealand female to run the Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon in Nepal.

Yes, you read right: there’s a marathon on Everest.

In 2016, Mel ran from Everest Base Camp to the small town of Namche, a gruelling 42.2km course that also happens to be the highest-altitude run in the world. Understandably, this was quite the challenge!

Yet, as Mel points out, “we all have our own Everest”. She compared gaining a qualification with running a marathon; both take a lot of time, commitment and perseverance.

  1. Irena, ITC’s Academic Quality Manager helped to create Air NZ’s training programmes

We often talk about our many years of experience (more on this later) as a team. We don’t always have the time to explain exactly what that experience entails, but sit down with any of our tutors or staff and you’ll hear some incredible stories.

Take Irena Wysoczanski for example. She began her career a flight attendant for Air New Zealand, eventually working her way up to become a Training Manager. During this time, she updated old training programmes and wrote new ones.

You can read more about Irena’s story here.

  1. Takeyuki, ITC’s Tourism Management Tutor teaches & practices martial arts

Takeyuki is our amazing Tourism Management Tutor, with a huge amount of travel and tourism experience under his belt.

So it might come as a surprise to know that he is also highly qualified in – and even teaches – a Japanese martial art called Shorinji Kempo. Originally from Japan himself, Take has spent more than 20 years practicing and teaching the martial art, learning how to discipline himself and continually seeking self-development.

Discover more about Take’s story here!

  1. ITC has over 250 years of experience between the team

That’s a lot of time spent learning about travel and tourism, working in the industry, forging contacts across New Zealand and around the world, and essentially preparing to share all that information and knowledge with the next generation of students enrolled at ITC and Study From Home.

It’s not unusual for our team to reach another staff member milestone. An incredible example is our Campus Manager at our City Campus, Michelle Chatfield, who will reach her 25th year with ITC on the 1st March this year!!!! 

  1. There’s a married pair on the team – and they met at ITC!

You may notice a similar last name with two of our staff members, Ceri & Mel Jenkins. These two love birds met at ITC and later decided to tie the knot. Not only did they get married but the proposal video received over 16,000 views!! Ceri decided to propose in true travel and tourism style – 192 meters above ground on the AJ Hackett SkyWalk, located at Auckland iconic Sky Tower.

  1. John Armstrong, ITC tutor, was the creator of Air NZ’s ‘pink flight’

The Air New Zealand ‘Pink Flight’ was originally a one off flight from Auckland to Sydney for the annual Mardi Gras celebration. From costumes and entertainment to party music all the way across the ditch, this flight made an event out of the journey.

Not only was it a hit success that become an annual event (and is now known as ‘Party Gras’), it was all the idea of current ITC tutor John Armstrong, who worked for Air New Zealand at the time.

  1. ITC has hired a number of graduates

Some of our students love ITC so much, they stick around or come back as part of the team!

Some have had the opportunity to work for ITC straight out of graduation in Student Services as a stepping stone to some incredible roles in tourism and aviation. Many have gone to work in industry and then returned to become tutors.

Laura Orsbourn finished her amazing exchange at Disney and now is our Tourism Education Tutor in our Schools Team. Vanessa was a student in 2002, and Kimi studied in 2014, and now they have both worked in the industry and returned as fabulous Course Advisors. Vanessa is a dab hand at collage and  Kimi is an astrology expert!

  1. We are a preferred provider of Disney & other paid International Exchange options

Just in the last 10 years, ITC has helped well over 100 students begin their International Exchange adventures.

Over 70 of these have gone to do the Disney Cultural Exchange Programme and lived and worked at Disney! We continue these efforts to support such an incredible adventure.

Each year, we support students as they go overseas and then return into some amazing roles in New Zealand. This is the beauty of being the only education provider with Employment Consultants. Not to mention, these stats include two years of the pandemic.

  1. We consistently see 100% success rates

Each year, we ask our students if they would recommend us to friends or family, and we regularly hear that 100% of them would!

Importantly, we also constantly hit 100% job success rates for those graduating.

At the end of the day, a qualification is one thing, but it’s important to be able to find employment once you graduate. Even our academic outcomes and achievements are at record highs with our expert support from our awesome tutorial team.

One of our graduates still holds the highest achievement of International Air Transport Association (IATA)

Enrol today

Now that you know a little more about us, we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch to let us know your career goals, and we’ll help you choose the qualification that will get you there.

Study From Home – 0800 TOURISM (0800 868747) or

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