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  • Student welcomes continue throughout the country


    In the Timaru District, a total of 83 students from America, China, Japan, Germany, South Korea, Hong Kong and Laos were officially welcomed by the Mayor at a function at the Caroline Bay Hall on March 20. It was the first time a mayoral welcome of students has been held in Timaru since Feb 2020. 

    The welcome featured performances from the Roncalli College kapa haka group and Mountainview high School’s jazz band. Guest speakers included district Mayor, Nigel Bowen and MP for Rangitata Jo Luxton. 


    Earlier this month 27 students from Japan, India, Germany, China, Thailand, and Scotland were treated to a rousing (and musical) welcome from the Cullinane College kapa haka group at the Cooks Gardens event centre in Whanganui. 

    Whanganui Deputy Mayor Helen Craig welcomed the students to “New Zealand’s only UNESCO City of Design” highlighting the importance of cultural interaction between international students and their New Zealand counterparts. 

    Cullinane College kapa haka group welcoming Whanganui’s international students. Click on the image to view the video.

  • Hands-on agribusiness experience for NZ students in Brazil, Chile and Colombia

    Despite being located on opposite sides of the world, New Zealand and Latin America have very similar climates, a phenomenon which serves as an opportunity for students in professions connected to agriculture to broaden their knowledge and practical skills. The Prime Minister’s Scholarship programme has supported students travelling to Brazil, Chile and Colombia to study this subject. 

    In operation since 2013, the Prime Minister’s Scholarship programme has already provided support for around 3,050 New Zealanders studying abroad, covering their travel, meals, accommodation, studies, technical visits, and journeys in different regions.  

    In 2022, Brazil was the most popular Latin-American country among group scholarship recipients, receiving visits from three groups. Brazil was also the first country to welcome New Zealand students from the program following the COVID-19 pandemic.  

    12 members of the Agronomy and Business Faculty of Lincoln University travelled to São Paulo in November last year. Over the course of five weeks, they visited and studied at three Brazilian universities, visiting farms and production centres in São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Paraná and Santa Catarina states. 

    According to Dr. Hugh Bigsby of Lincoln University, who coordinated the groups of students, their visits were organised so they could learn about the countries and their cultures through their food. 

    “Our programmes are called ‘agribusiness summer schools’ and the aim is to try to understand the local economy, over a period of five weeks, through processes involved in food production and the textile industry, for example,” Hugh said. 

    “In each country, we introduce the students to farms, sales chains and supermarkets. At the end of the program, they are required to present a business idea that can contribute to the commercial relations between New Zealand and each country visited, supporting exports and imports,” explained Hugh. 

    Amongst the places visited in Brazil were the Higher Education School of Agriculture of the University of São Paulo, in Piracicaba; the Faculty of Agrarian Sciences of the Federal University of Paraná, in Curitiba; and the experimental farms operated by the Federal University of Viçosa. 

    “The partnerships with the local universities of each country are fundamental to the success of our program, since each of them provides us with the local economic context, demonstrates technological advances that are underway, and explains the specific features of the local producers,” Hugh said. 

    At the same time, a group of 10 students, from the School of Agriculture and Development at Massey University, were in Chile to pursue their studies of agribusiness techniques. The students explored several regions across the country, visiting the Austral University of Chile, the Catholic University of Valparaiso, and Magallanes University in Punta Arenas.  

    In addition to the universities, the students went to the Santiago Botanic Gardens, dairy cattle farms, vineyards, avocado plantations, and food cooperatives.   

    Massey University students at Universidad Austral de Chile, in Chile.

    Massey University Professor Ignacio López, accompanied students on their visit. He said the trip was an incredible experience.  

    “The students were impressed with how the farmers are capable of sustainably farming foods in extremely harsh conditions” Ignacio said.  

    Lincoln University students at Universidad de La Salle, in Colombia.

    A group of 20 students from the Agronomy and Business Faculty of Lincoln University travelled to Bogotá, Colombia, in January to study agribusiness. They were in the country for four weeks, studying at the La Salle University, located in the Colombian capital, and at Manizales University. 

    The students learnt about the wide range of agribusiness activities conducted in the country and in the Mercosur region, including detailed studies of Colombian coffee production techniques, which are considered a benchmark across the world.   

    The students from the three groups all returned home having recognised the creativity and experience of the Latin-American agricultural producers.  

    “For our students, the trip opened their minds to new possibilities and different ways of working with agriculture,” said Ignácio Lopez.  

    “They also realised that what they had experimented with can, indeed, be adjusted and applied in New Zealand” he said. 

  • Reflections from English Teachers in South Korea

    In January 2024, six New Zealand teachers were selected to spend part of their summer season teaching English in South Korea as part of the New Zealand Korea FTA Partnership English Language Training Programme 

    This programme is supported by Education New Zealand Manapou ki te Ao (ENZ) who assists with the teacher recruitment process. This was one of the key KNZFTA programmes recently discussed during the South Korea Government delegation visit to New Zealand late last year.  

    The group of six New Zealand teachers selected to teach English in South Korea in January. From left, Jane Bassett, Food Technology Teacher from Havelock North Intermediate School, Sharon Powell, English Teacher from Long Bay College in Auckland, Kara Shortland, Acting Team Leader (Bilingual) from Whangārei Intermediate School Te Tai Tokerau. Glenn Cheyne, Head of Learning Area Social Sciences from Nayland College in Nelson, Gordon Sim, Social Science teacher from Hillcrest High School in Hamilton, and Dan Greer, Social Studies/Drama teacher from Logan Park High School in Dunedin.

    Kay Lee, ENZ Senior Market Development Manager – Korea, said that it was an absolute pleasure to see New Zealand teachers continue to travel to South Korea to teach English during their summer break.  

    “There are so many positive outcomes from the running of this cross-cultural programme for both the Korean students and the New Zealand teachers participating.  

    "On one hand, the students get the opportunity to hone their English language skills while experiencing the New Zealand teaching style, learning more about New Zealand, including its culture and education system. Meanwhile, while teaching English and serving as ambassadors of a New Zealand education, the teachers can immerse themselves in Korean life for a few weeks, seeing new sights, trying new food and making new friends.  

    Gordon, Jane, and Dan, sampling Korean cuisine at the end of the teaching day.

    "Our Korean government partner for educational programmes, EPIS, has acknowledged ENZ for its significant contribution to the programme’s success through effective teacher recruitment. These positive outcomes are testament to the strength of our NZ-Korea Government-to-Government partnership,” added Kay.  

    Upon their return to New Zealand, two of the teachers who are trained in teaching English as a Second Language (ESL), shared their experiences with ENZ. Read on to hear about the reflections from their two weeks abroad.... 

    Jane Bassett (지안 (Jian) from Havelock North Intermediate School with her students.

    Jane Bassett is a Food Technology teacher at Havelock North Intermediate School and said that the experience of exchanging cultures whilst teaching in an overseas classroom environment was an absolute privilege.  

    “Our students were aged 14 – 17 years old and came from all over South Korea with family backgrounds in the Agricultural and Fisheries industries. Each student had been awarded a scholarship from the Korean government to attend the two-week intensive English programme organised by the Hyundai Research Institute. 

    "The Institute went above and beyond in their efforts to ensure an incredible experience for both the students and our group of teachers.   

    The teaching programme included a wide range of modules and as well as English grammar, we covered lessons on New Zealand culture, history, tourism, agriculture, sports, famous New Zealanders, and school life.  My class was also exposed to the New Zealand Technology curriculum and was tasked with developing a new snack product. As part of the project, I introduced them to several New Zealand snacks and Kiwi classics such as WeetBix, Marmite and Watties Baked Beans, to varying degrees of enjoyment!”  

    Students were encouraged to speak in English throughout the day via fun-games, readings, conversations and plays so that the teachers could fine-tune their English to help them become more fluent with more natural English phrasing.  

    "We also explained aspects of Māori culture and the significance of pepeha (way of introduction). The students, who were from agricultural and fisheries backgrounds, were quickly able to identify their  own awa (river) and maunga (mountain), showing their own personal connection to their land.   

    Jane said that a personal highlight was being able to spend her birthday in Seoul learning about Korean cuisine through a cooking class on kimchi making and tea ceremony in a traditional house. She admitted that this was an appropriate birthday experience for a New Zealand Food Technology teacher! 

    She summed up the experience by saying that the group of teachers gained a greater understanding of cultural diversity and appreciation of the challenges learning English poses for new learners, learnings which they will take home with them.  

    “We really hope that our students will remember their experience as fondly as we will and that they will look to study and visit New Zealand in the future.” 

    Drama and Social Studies teacher, Dan Greer, of Logan Park High School with three of his students.

    Dan Greer, is a drama and social studies secondary school teacher from Logan Park School in Dunedin. He joined Jane as one of the six teachers selected to travel to South Korea, his second experience as an English language teacher in South Korea, having taught in Ulsan 12 years ago.   

    “I had such an amazing time participating in the Hyundai Research Institute’s programme. It was great to have other quality teachers on this experience with me and we were able to work together, mixing up the style of teaching and activities. I had the more beginner level class, and as a drama teacher we added games to my traditional English teaching. The students really enjoyed it, and it gave them more confidence to give things a go. 

    Dan reflected on the fact that there was one practice of teaching English in Korea that he had often thought was a little unfair, that being the naming of Korean students with English names.  

    “As an English teacher in Korea, you are often asked to name Korean students with English names. Sometimes this is because they want them, sometimes it is because they ’have’ to, and for many it is because westerners find Korean names hard to pronounce. I have named nine children in my life, one being my daughter and the other eight have been my Korean students. 

    Dan used this practice as a topic of discussion in class one day and shared his opinion that it had not always felt right to him as he felt that if Korean students were taking the time to learn the English language, that teachers should make an effort in return.  

    He then asked his students whether English teachers should have Korean names. This prompted them to ask many questions about Dan including who he is when he is not “Dan the teacher”, his whakapapa, and the meaning of his name in English.  

    Dan said “You can imagine my surprise when my students were all waiting for me when I arrived the next day. One wonderful student then stood up and using perfect English gifted me a Korean name. I was no longer just “Dan the Teacher,” but also now 도혁 (Dohyuk), which meant I was ‘leading them to a bright path’.   

    “This was such a humbling experience that I will cherish forever. For me, this is what makes teaching and life so special,” added 도혁  (Dan). 

    If the Korean organisers decide to run the NZ-Korea FTA Partnership English Language Training Programme in the future, ENZ will continue to share the applications with NZ school teachers through the Asia NZ Foundation and Schools International Education Business Association (SIEBA).  

  • New Zealand School Story released

    The New Zealand School Story comprises a video, posters and photography available via The Brand Lab. (Head to the ‘Marketing’ tab and scroll down to ‘Sector Stories’.)

    Central to all collateral is the theme ‘Proud Parents’. The video itself tells a genuine, heart-felt and emotive story about how children from all around the world can have the opportunity to flourish in our schools.

    It shows we understand the importance of choosing the right study destination, especially for young children, and how much is invested in that the decision. Like the New Zealand Education Story, the School Story has a strong emotional connection, while also reinforcing key messages that promote New Zealand schools. Its target audiences are parents, as key decision-makers, as well as students.

    Education New Zealand led the development of this story with guidance from an industry working group comprising the SIEBA Establishment Board and the ENZ School Sector Reference Group. Advertising agency Clemenger BBDO produced the material.  

    The story was launched at ENZ’s seminar series in March at locations around the country. If you haven’t seen it yet, head to The Brand Lab now and have a look. 

  • NZIDRS scholarship students attend valuable workshop

    Apart from being a great opportunity for these students to get to know one another, and see a bit more of New Zealand, it was also a valuable opportunity for us to learn more about what motivated them to come to New Zealand and how the experience has matched up to their expectations. We also were able to provide them with answers to some of their questions, such as work rights and visa queries.

    The feedback is being collated and will be available through Universities New Zealand.

    ENZ has also unearthed some marketing gold amongst the group and will be keeping in touch with them so that they can tell their great personal stories about our education system in promotional material and at events.

    It was a productive and enjoyable day. One of the students surprised everyone with his impromptu viola performance of Bach and then invited all to watch him play in a jazz band in Wellington on Sunday night. Many took the opportunity to stay on for the weekend and some new friendships were made.

    ENZ plans to hold similar events every three years or so to ensure each student is contacted once during their tenure in New Zealand.


    Above: The group of international PhD students that participated in the NZDRS workshop (absent Justin Horn)

  • Rosehill College and Te Hihi primary school partnership thrives

    Just ten minutes down the road, Te Hihi School is a full primary school in rural Karaka with around 200 students and 17 staff. Rosehill College has a well-established international student programme and Te Hihi is just starting out.

    “In the past we have had the odd Korean student come to our school, but with Anne’s help we have developed an international student business plan, I’ve been to an ENZ fair in Guangzhou and we’ve hosted a study group from Taiwan,” says Kevin Bush, principal at Te Hihi School.

    Anne Henwood is the Director of International Students at Rosehill College and she takes Te Hihi’s marketing material with her whenever she goes overseas.

    “Our relationship with Te Hihi school is a real pleasure – and it makes good sense,” says Anne.

    “As well as offering families a pathway for their child from primary to secondary education, our relationship shows we have strong connection with the local community and a serious commitment to our children.”

    With a pathway through to Rosehill College, a Te Hihi School student can stay within the area and possibly with the same homestay family for the full course of their schooling in New Zealand.

    Kevin has also noticed the benefit of having international students in the school on his Kiwi students.

    “In August we had a year 8 short term study group come from Taiwan for five weeks – our children had their eyes opened as they got to know children from another culture. Asia is an area that they don’t get a lot of exposure to but going forward as a country, Asia is going to be important to them as adults,” says Kevin.

    “The children that come to New Zealand on their own show remarkable resilience. The friendships that they make while they are here, especially if they stay on for secondary school, are likely to last a lifetime – providing valuable global connections for our children.”

    In June, Anne hosted a visit by an agent from Guangzhou who spent the morning at Rosehill and the afternoon at Te Hihi.

    “The agent really enjoyed her visit and it was great to show her both schools in one day, to demonstrate the strength of our working relationship and what we have to offer as a package,” says Anne.

    “Back in her office in China she will have a much better understanding of our education system and everything we have to offer when she is talking to parents about sending their child to New Zealand.”

    Marketing as a team is a long term proposition that will only bear fruit over time. As principal of a small rural school, Kevin is realistic about their capacity for international students.

    “I’m planning for around six international students to come to Te Hihi over the next couple of years which seems like a low target but I am excited by the diversity even a small number of students will bring to our school,” says Kevin.

    Anne agrees saying: “International students bring culture and diversity, as well as a willingness to learn, to be part of the whole English environment.”

    “Some Rosehill students may never get the opportunity to travel so the experience they get at school with other cultures becomes very important.”

  • Manawatu hosts agents

    “A successful famil tour provides a holistic experience for the agents, and gives them first-hand knowledge and experience from which to recommend Palmerston North and Manawatu to prospective students and parents,” said Lesley McDonald, Co-Chair of International Education Manawatu (IEM).

    “We decided that we would split the agents into two groups – those focussed on the tertiary sector and those on the secondary sector. That way, the agents in each group could focus on their specific sector and spend more time at the relevant institutions,” said Lesley.

    The agent visit was timed to coincide with the Massey University graduation ceremony, demonstrating the successful outcome of study.

    To give them a taste of the Manawatu student lifestyle, the agents stayed with homestay families in the region.

    “We recognised that international education is more than the study experience – it also includes a safe lifestyle, leisure activities, internship and part-time employment opportunities which lead to residency and employment.”

    “The agents saw the Royal New Zealand Ballet perform at the Regent Theatre in Palmerston North and had a trip to Wellington. One agent even stayed on an extra day to take part in a tour of Wairarapa wineries!”

    For the visiting agents the visit was an immersion in what it’s like to live and study in Palmerston North and the Manawatu region, and for the education providers it was a chance to showcase the best their institution and the region has to offer.

    For both, it was an invaluable relationship-building experience.

    “We have received very positive feedback from the visiting agents who wish to build on the relationships with the educational providers that they met and interacted with”, said Lesley.

    To fund the agent visit a cross-sector group of education providers – all members of IEM – pooled their resources, with some additional funding was provided by Education New Zealand’s Regional Agent Funding programme.

  • Eighteen million views and counting

    Yichen is a cartoonist with five million followers on Weibo. (Weibo is one of the most popular social media platforms in China. A mix of Twitter and Facebook, it’s used by more than 30% of Chinese internet users.)

    Yichen was accompanied by a team from Sina.Com.  A multimedia outlet, Sina.Com owns Sina Weibo (which hosts Yichen’s account). Its education outlet, Sina Education, was the first professional education-focused online media platform in China.  An interactive campaign involving Sina Education; Yichen’s dedicated visit Weibo account and her own personal account, and ENZ’s Weibo account, ensured maximum profiling of this visit on these channels.

    The group visited eight institutions in Dunedin, Otago and Queenstown to raise the profile of the South Island as a study destination.

    “Yichen’s followed by millions in China for her quirky and positive cartoons and posts about life.  She began sharing her work on Weibo when a student at Tianjin Normal University, and has gone from strength to strength since then.  Her work is clever, creative and innovative – all qualities that speak to the way that we seek to position and profile New Zealand education,” says Regional Director – Greater China Alex Grace.

    “What better way to grow awareness and build preference for New Zealand than inviting Ding Yichen and here to truly experience studying in the South.”

    From the trip, Yichen produced posts illustrating her New Zealand experiences, which have been viewed 18 million times to date, and are publishing content about New Zealand on a specific mini site.

    Alex says giving the group a taste of New Zealand’s course content by doing – rather than just showing or telling – made all the difference.

    Yichen took part in an animation taster class, took a cooking class, delved into winemaking, and drew with our students.”

    “I encourage providers hosting international guests to think about how they can make their visits stand out by ‘doing’, as well as telling and showing. Kiwi students learn by doing, and our guests are here to understand us and our education system better. Let’s make it memorable!” says Alex.

    The trip was part of Education New Zealand’s visiting media programme, which brings international media to New Zealand from targeted print, online and broadcast organisations.

  • New Chair for English New Zealand

    Ewen is Education Group Director at ICL Business School in Auckland. ENZ congratulates Ewen on his appointment and looks forward to working with him and the members of English NZ over the coming year. Ewen can be contacted at

    Outgoing Chairman, Darren Conway, made a significant contribution to furthering the goals of English NZ and to influencing positive change at all levels for the English language sector. ENZ would like to thank Darren for his tireless work and wish him well in his continuing role as CEO of Languages International.

    Together with the appointment of Ewen Mackenzie-Bowie, a new executive committee for English New Zealand was appointed:

    • Tim Brown, CEO The Campbell Institute

    • Kim Harase, Director of Marketing, Academic Colleges Group

    • Maureen Hayes, Principal and Managing Director of Worldwide School of English

    • Giuliana Silviera, Principal, Kaplan International Auckland

    ENZ looks forward to continuing its work with English NZ to grow the English language sector in New Zealand.

  • International students in Dunedin get connected

    ‘Get Connected’ was a networking evening to launch the Job Ready Programme, which prepares international students for the transition from study to work through improving their skills and confidence in approaching prospective employers.

    Job Ready is a free, extracurricular programme designed for any tertiary international student studying in the Dunedin region. The aim of the programme is to give participants an in-depth understanding of working culture and expectations in New Zealand, and to help them develop skills that will aid them in New Zealand workplaces.

    “For many International students in New Zealand, networking is a scary and foreign business practice,” says Job Ready Coordinator, Madison Stumbles. “We wanted to create a new cultural norm – for students and businesses – where networking isn’t scary and international students have the confidence to engage with businesses looking to utilise the skills they have to offer.”

    The programme has been developed with the support of ENZ’s Regional Partnership Programme, Enterprise Dunedin, Otago Polytechnic, the University of Otago and the Otago Chamber of Commerce. 

    The event saw 15 international Job Ready ‘graduates’ engage with the potential employers in a positive and enriching atmosphere. The Minister of Immigration, Hon Michael Woodhouse, delivered the keynote speech and was joined by Education New Zealand’s Greg Scott and Enterprise Dunedin’s Export Education Coordinator, Sarah Gauthier and representatives of Dunedin’s international education providers.

    A strong turnout at the event demonstrated the level of commitment to international education in the city, and the strong understanding among all attendees of the way in which the Job Ready Programme can support local businesses in globalising their operations by creating links to skilled, international talent.


    Job Ready Graduate with PhD student and AD Instruments representative, Pramuk Perera.

    About the programme

    In the lead up to the event, a pilot group of 15 international students from Otago Polytechnic and the University of Otago underwent the six-week intensive Job Ready programme.

    Confidence building was the main focus over the six weeks, with a strong emphasis placed on enabling the students to polish their professional networking skills. Several interactive seminars were facilitated by members of the Dunedin business and education community, with one popular session on ‘How to network’ led by Gallaway Cook Allan’s, Chief Executive Officer, Matthew Gorman.

    At the end of the six-week programme, students were proactively arranging meetings to talk to professionals with business interests in their field of study, and two had successfully secured employment for the following year.

    With more study ahead of them, the remainder of the students credited the Job Ready Programme with boosting their confidence in finding work in New Zealand after graduation.

    “I got what I needed out of this programme – confidence, knowledge [and] a better network of potential employers,” said one participant.

    “I would like to thank those who made this programme successful as it has given us a good insight into skills and abilities to work on, which are not usually taught in university,” stated another.

    Feedback from business participants was also incredibly positive. “I overheard Roger Belton from Southern Clams commenting on how these students were so capable, and on how they could help their businesses grow into new markets,” said Sarah Gauthier, Export Education Coordinator.  “He really enjoyed meeting the students and hearing how their international business skills and multiple language abilities would help his business grow into places like Thailand and Malaysia.”

    Local Dunedin businesses represented at the event included ADInstruments, Southern Clams, PocketSmith, Mixbit, Myth, Firebrand, ANZ and Cook Wong Accountants. There was also international business representation from the Carraway Group, a Hong Kong-based financial services firm.


    Job Ready Coordinator Madison Stumbles with Minister Woodhouse as they presented each student with their frame able Job Ready completion certificate, signed by Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull.

    Next steps

    Planning for the next phase of the project is underway, with the next six-week programme being open to all international tertiary students in Dunedin and having an even stronger focus on engagement with local businesses.

    “I am really looking forward to see what phase two can do for Dunedin’s international students,” said Sarah Gauthier. “Secondary school engagement will be a priority and Job Ready intends to utilise the support received in the first phase to develop comprehensive material that will be applicable to all businesses and international students in New Zealand.”

    Think you’d like to do something similar in your region?  Sarah, Madison, and the Job Ready Programme partners are only too happy to share their learnings and provide hints and tips from their experience.

    Email Sarah in the first instance:


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