Updated: Jun 23
In this section of our blog, we like to share stories of Colombians Living in New Zealand. We had a fun interview with Karen Alvarado from CWorld, here you can read her story:
Who is Karen Alvarado and from what part of Colombia are you?
I am from Popayan, a city in Colombia very close to Cali, but due to my father's job I spent all my high school years living in Ipiales, a city near the border with Ecuador. I graduated in Business Administrator and Project Management from El Bosque University in Bogota. I am a happy mum of two little Kiwi boys (Samuel and Nicolas, 4 and 2 years old respectively) and I have lived in New Zealand with my Colombian husband for the last 9 years.
Tell us a bit about your story:
I came to study English for 7 months; studied a Diploma in management and worked as a general manager for 4 years in Mexican restaurants, and thanks to this job I learned about the visa processes and the needs that all students had when they want to extend their visa (cost, quality, and duration).
All the time I was surrounded by students and their greatest wish was to extend their visa to continue on in this beautiful country. I discovered that I had this ability to know and understand the visa process, and then Cworld agency was born as a result of that; a company that not only helps to extend student visas and bring students, but also is a support for all people who want to know different experiences.
We try to make them feel about us like a family. I currently own CWorld and we have offices in Auckland, Melbourne and Bogota, and also we help with and follow through on all procedures for student visas, residence, work and visitor visas, referring to a great team of immigration advisers.
In my free time, I do some management of my husband's company where today he has 22 employees. I love my work, I love helping people and helping them in their process because I know all the feelings encountered in this beautiful journey full of learning in the life of an immigrant.
What Colombian food you miss the most?
Sanchocho (chicken soup, as we explain to Kiwis), pan de bono, tostacos, ponque gala and chocorramos.
What products from our Store do you like?
Latino Foods is our blessing! Thank you to this great team for bringing in our products and giving our children the opportunity to know a little more of our flavours and culture. In my house there is always harina pan which is my husband's favourite. Pony malta for my youngest son Nicolas, Frunas for my son Samuel and for me Cocosette , and now I am addicted to the new product Snacks mix!
Any advice you want to share with Colombians who want to study in New Zealand?
Yes, DO NOT STOP DREAMING, and save money. Sometimes we believe the dream of learning a new language in another country is too expensive or impossible for some but the reality is: if they find a good, professional agency then students can have cheap prices and fulfill their goals and dreams and not have to spend so much.
If you are thinking of living this experience, do not hesitate, it is an experience that helps you grow and become a better person. Without a doubt, living this experience allows you to discover new cultures, places and discover the true strengths that we have.
Come ready to live a different experience and have faith that everything will turn out perfect for sure! Lastly, each person will have a different experience and the truth is that New Zealand is a beautiful country and it’s a good decision to live here. Let yourself be guided by your heart and intuition; if people come with lots of positivity, desire and dreams they will surely have the best experience of their lives.
Cworld is your friendly professional agency, always willing to give the best option.
Where to contact you if someone is interested on more info about your agency Cworld?
If you are interested in study or visa extensions in New Zealand, you can contact Karen Alvarado: +642040451188
Thanks for reading!