Wintec students to begin their new life
Nervous first-year students are taking tentative first steps at Wintec as the new uni year kicks in with O-Week.
Some greeted each other with ecstatic relief, while others went it alone but there's no mistaking the possibilities opening up for them.
For Hamilton student Cameron Peacock, Wintec was the only place that could offer the course he wanted.
The 17-year-old will study a diploma in level four horticulture based within the Hamilton Gardens.
"Other places have the course, but not like at the Gardens.
"They're one of the best in the world, you can't get that anywhere else," he said.
Following the diploma, he plans to go on to a degree in landscaping which he hopes will lead to a career in landscape and garden design.
However, while Wintec is only a minor adjustment for Hamilton-based students like Cameron, some are leaving behind their entire lives to pursue their dreams.
Nikola Murray, 21, just moved down from Ahipara last week and is already homesick, but said it's worth it to be able to eventually give back.
She is undertaking a three-year bachelor of nursing, having worked in a GP clinic previously.
"I was working with Maori there, so I'd like to keep doing that.
"Get my degree and go back home and do it up there - I want to help our people," she said.
Wintec are welcoming more than 1700 other new students this year.
And there are more people like Nikola venturing into subjects like nursing, as well as business, IT, dairy technology and media arts.
Wintec chief executive Mark Flowers said it was great to see the campus buzzing back to life with a revitalised orientation week (O-Week) this year, and as the enrolment process continues, he expects numbers to rise even further.
O-Week 2013 runs through until Friday at the city campus between 11.30am and 1pm and includes information sessions, club registrations, competitions, giveaways, games and live music from the likes of The Latest Fallout, Steve Reid and The Heartbreak Kids.
Orientation activities will also take place at the Rotokauri campus on Wednesday, February 27 from 11.30am-1.30pm.
More pictures, Out & About,