Iranian mum makes new life on Teesside with help from Middlesbrough College

05 December 2017
Top quality careers advice and student guidance have helped an Iranian mum settle in Middlesbrough and get on track to become a teacher. 

Naghmeh Zarehaghighi came to Middlesbrough a little more than two years ago from her native Iran after fleeing religious persecution.

She started at Middlesbrough College within two months of arriving in the UK.

The 38-year-old, who lives with her young son and husband, was formerly a maths and economics teacher but had to start over after the move.

Now she is studying a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) part time at Middlesbrough College while working at its fully functional beauty salon, Francescos. 

Naghmeh said: “I came to Middlesbrough College having only been in the country for less than two months – I didn’t know anything.

“I got excellent advice from the staff here, who talked with me to find out my skills and what I wanted to do. They also supported me in settling into Middlesbrough.

“I’ve now completed Level 2 and Level 3 Beauty Therapy, which I’ve really enjoyed. It’s always been my goal to be a teacher again, so now I’d like to combine the two.

“Studying the PGCE is another important step in my journey to becoming a teacher again.”

The advice issued to Naghmeh is just part of Middlesbrough College’s comprehensive student support network – which encompasses careers advice and pastoral guidance.

A high quality of staff, advice processes and facilities have helped the College to maintain the Matrix Accreditation for Information Advice and Guidance Services – a prestigious national standard awarded to educational institutions.

The mark distinguishes organisations that provide excellent support to students in their choice of career, learning, work and life goals. 

Zoe Lewis, principal and chief executive of Middlesbrough College, added: “Naghmeh’s story so far is an inspirational one, and we’re thrilled she has been able to follow the steps to reach her goals at Middlesbrough College.

“We’re proud that the college’s advice network is helping students like her to get on and fulfil their ambitions.”

As well as part time work and study, Naghmeh is studying towards an English GCSE with the view to improve her speaking skills in preparation for teaching.

Naghmeh added: “I’m so busy now between studying, working and volunteering, which is great.”
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