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  • Bringing ideas to life in China

    Ideas to Life took place at the University of Auckland Innovation Institute in Hangzhou – an area known as the Silicon Valley of China for its reputation as a leading innovation and technology hub.

    The conference showcased the University of Auckland’s work in several areas relevant to the Chinese market. These included digital health, high value nutrition, light metals research, advanced materials and manufacturing, and clinical trials and drug development particularly in oncology. 

    Leading education experts from China and New Zealand also attended an education industry-specific session at the conference. Organised by the University of Auckland English Language Academy, the presentations provided an overview of international education in New Zealand, updates on programmes including customised services for groups of students, and shared expertise in academic learning and research.

    Julie Haskell, Director at the English Language Academy, said the session provided an opportunity for collaboration, networking, and knowledge sharing between academics, agencies and university officials from both countries.

    “The education day provided an excellent opportunity for us to showcase the Institute and the opportunities offered by the English Language Academy.

    “We look forward to hosting future events at the Innovation Institute in Hangzhou.”

  • Palmerston North goes international

    Peter Brooks, Principal of Freyberg High School, sees value for both international students and locals who have the opportunity to mix with people from around the world.

    “International students add another dimension to our school and the wider community. It encourages inclusiveness – something that is so important given what’s going in the world at the moment,” said Mr Brooks.

    “We hope to show that New Zealand and New Zealanders are different.”

    Freyberg’s international students come from China, Viet Nam, Korea, India, Chile, Thailand, Switzerland, Japan, Brazil and Germany. The school runs dozens of events throughout the year to give them a taste of the Kiwi lifestyle, and to help them feel welcome in their new environment.

    “International students add another dimension to our school and the wider community."

    Freyberg High internationalsIn a first for the school, the 2016 dux prize was awarded to an international student from China. Mr Brooks said watching her journey having limited English to being named dux was a highlight for the school.

    “We surprised her by secretly inviting her mother to the ceremony, all the way from China, to present her with flowers on stage. That brought the whole house down,” said Mr Brooks.

    Building on Freyberg’s ‘sister school’ relationships is also an area of focus for the school. In recent years, the school has sent groups of students to Thailand, Viet Nam and China.

    “Putting our students in the shoes of their international peers astounded them – classroom hours are different, expectations are different. It really opened their eyes,” said Mr Brooks.

    Freyberg international students

    Freyberg organises a number of trips for international students to explore New Zealand.

  • International students teach Kiwis about the world

    Invercargill’s James Hargest College currently hosts 25 to 30 long-term international students, in addition to several visiting groups throughout the year. College staff have seen the positive difference having international students can make.

    Jenny Elder, Deputy Principal and Director of International Students, says the College runs an International Friendship Club, which benefits the wider school community as well as the internationals.

    “Properly integrating visiting students into the school community alongside their Kiwi peers is key, and well worth the effort,” Elder said. 

    “We find it’s the best way to break down barriers. International students open the eyes of our local students to the world, which is important given a number of our students have not travelled or experienced living in other communities.” 

    The International Friendship Club organises social activities and events for international students including ice-skating, skiing, pot luck dinners, quiz nights, picnics, barbeques and movie nights. It also assigns international students with Kiwi “buddies” who help them with schoolwork, show them around and even make welcome gifts and celebrate their birthdays.

    "International students have experienced different cultures, giving them perspective our students can learn from."

    English teacher Anna McDowall says the international students are also bringing new experiences to the classroom, and has witnessed first-hand how invaluable their perspectives are in a learning environment.

    “International students have already experienced different countries and cultures, giving them insights and perspective our students can learn from,” said Anna.

    “For example, studying a classic like [George Orwell’s novel] 1984 with a student who has lived under a corrupt government helped Kiwi students to see how surveillance can strip our individuality, and how preserving our freedom is vital.

    “We are very fortunate in New Zealand, and that means some of the big ideas in our texts are beyond our students’ comprehension – international students provide the reality of these issues worldwide and help our Kiwi kids to empathise and understand other perspectives, hopefully creating better citizens.

    “After all, He aha te mea nui? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata.”

    James Hargest 3

  • Fun and games at Christchurch student welcome

    The event was held at the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū, and offered free food, games – including jenga, table tennis, and a Rugby 101 workshop led by the BNZ Crusaders – as well as a number of live music and cultural performances such as kapa haka, Indian Bangara dancing and a traditional Chinese lion dance. 

    Canterbury’s community groups and tourism operators were also on hand to greet new students, alongside Christchurch Deputy mayor Andrew Turner, who gave a welcome speech.

    ChristchurchNZ International Education Programme Manager Bree Loverich was pleased to see such a strong turnout.

    “This event was a fantastic opportunity to bring together new students, international education staff, homestay families and volunteers to celebrate our different cultures and showcase all there is to see and do in Christchurch and Canterbury,” said Bree.



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  • Reach out to students in Japan

    ENZ’s Senior Market Development Manager – Japan, Misa Kitaoka, said the annual guidebook is the only Japanese publication officially supported by the Embassy in Tokyo and ENZ.

    “Keibunsha publishes this study guidebook for many other English-speaking embassies and is a great opportunity for New Zealand regional bodies and education providers to promote their offering,” said Misa.

    “As destination marketing plays a key part of edu-promotion in Japan, Keibunsha is offering a separate advertising rate for regional groups.”

    To advertise, bookings must be made by 10 April.

    For further details on the guidebook and pricing for regional groups, download the proposal here. For individual providers, download the proposal here.

  • Market insights from Japanese media

    The journalists represented a range of Japanese news media with audiences of various interests, ages and social groups:

    • Sachiko Habu, Editor-in-Chief of Nikkei DUAL, a digital magazine for working parents
    • Ryo Fujii, Deputy Editor of CNET Japan, focused on technology and innovation news
    • Yuko Okumura, a freelance journalist for Glolea!, promoting study abroad for Japanese students.

    The journalists visited secondary schools, English language schools, early childhood education (ECE) providers and government agencies involved in technology-focused start-ups.

    Misa Kitaoka, ENZ’s Senior Market Development Manager – Japan, said New Zealand’s approach to education was considered very forward-thinking in Japan.

    “They realised that education in New Zealand is not about only acquiring knowledge, which is still the case in Japan, but about what one can do with the knowledge in dealing with the uncertainties that come with the accelerated globalisation and digitisation in society.” 

    New Zealand’s world-first education ranking for instilling future skills resonated with the journalists, as did the Government’s push to enable innovation in the private sector, its tertiary qualifications framework for ITPs, and unique ECE curriculum.

    Government-led initiatives such as CreativeHQ were very attractive to the journalists as well.

    “In Japan, it’s usually the private sector that drives innovation so seeing a government-led initiative in New Zealand really made an impression,” said Misa.

    The journalists were interested that some New Zealand schools offered the International Baccalaureate (IB), which could be a pathway to tertiary study options in Japan, New Zealand, US and the UK.

    “IB is a hot topic in Japan at the moment, with the Japanese government promoting international education and introducing international curricula such as the IB diploma to Japanese schools,” said Misa.

    Journalists ice cream Japan2

    The journalists enjoy a Kiwi classic - hokey pokey ice cream.

    The topic of Japanese parents bringing their pre-school children to an English-speaking country like New Zealand for a short-term immersion – the ‘barefeet study abroad’ experience, as one journalist put it – was also of interest. The journalists appreciated the “unique learning environment” offered by the New Zealand ECEs they visited.

    “They were impressed to see children immersed in nature while learning how to be independent and resilient,” said Misa.    

    New Zealand’s high quality of life, healthy work-life balance and the flexibility of “work from home” also made a good impression.

  • Explore women’s leadership journeys at NZIEC

    In a Q&A format, the lunchtime session will see panellists sharing lessons on what they have learned during their career pathways to senior leadership positions, including the challenges they have faced and the opportunities they have created and seized. They will also aim to impart strategies for other women to follow in their steps.

    The panel is supported by the Global Leadership League (GLL), an organisation focussed on advancing women’s leadership skills, knowledge and connection in international education.

    Dawn Hewitt, Director, Global Groups (Australasia) for the GLL, says that regardless of their professional positions and experience, women in the industry have lots to offer.

    “The GLL is underpinned by the notion that when women support each other, incredible things happen. Whatever your goal, the GLL is focused on helping everyone rise to their potential.”

    One of the panellists, Ainslie Moore, Deputy Director Operations at the University of Auckland, says one the topics they’ll discuss is the importance of supportive networks.

    “Every major decision on ‘where to next’ in my career was informed by the support of a network of strong women in international education.

    “One of the ambitions of the GLL is to give the next generation of women in international education access to a network of peers and senior women; not just for career progression, but also for sharing knowledge to bring more balance to work and life.”

    Panel chair and ENZ’s Regional Director for Europe and the Americas, Lisa Futschek, says that in addition to engaging with the panellists, attendees will have the opportunity to connect with fellow delegates before and after the lunch.  

    “We hope attendees will leave inspired and equipped with a range of strategies and approaches to support women leaders in our industry – now and in the future,” says Lisa.

    Attendance at this panel is not restricted to women. Indeed, men are encouraged to attend to hear more about the experiences of women within our industry and learn approaches and strategies that can support women leaders.

    Numbers for the lunch panel are restricted to 100 places. Details on how you can confirm your place will be advised to conference delegates separately.  

    With only a handful of spots left remaining for NZIEC 2018, register today at

  • ISANA NZ workshops to support International Student Wellbeing

    ISANA NZ is offering a range of professional development and community engagement workshops that are aligned to deliver on the goals of the International Student Wellbeing Strategy.

    The workshops are being offered in Auckland, Palmerston North, Tauranga, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch and Dunedin.

    The workshop topics are focused on helping education providers and local community groups to engage better with international students in order to enhance international student wellbeing.

    Topics for this year’s workshops include:

    • Enhancing international student engagement with local communities
    • Resources for pastoral care
    • Building cultural intelligence and skills 
    • Mental health
    • Ensuring everyday wellbeing
    • Tools to support students through cultural and academic transitions

    Each set of workshops will also include updates from government agencies, including MBIE (Immigration NZ) and NZQA.

    Click here for more details and to register for the events.

  • International Education Strategy 2018 - 30 launched

    “The New Zealand Government sees a strong future for international education in New Zealand,” said Mr Hipkins. 

    “My vision, is for international education to contribute to a strong, sustainable, high-quality education system with a vibrant international focus, and globally connected students, workers and education providers.”

    The International Education Strategy was developed by Government in consultation with international education stakeholders including education providers, international and domestic students, peak bodies and community groups.

    “The new Strategy marks a shift in emphasis from the 2011 Leadership Statement,” said Mr Hipkins.

    “In line with this Government’s commitment to measure success and wellbeing more broadly, you will see a stronger focus on social and cultural outcomes for New Zealand alongside the economic benefits.”

    The International Education Strategy sets out three goals and key actions for government agencies to give effect to the Strategy, as well as measures and indicators for success.

    ENZ General Manager Stakeholders and Communications, John Goulter, and Ministry of Education Senior Manager International Education Policy, Kate West, shared more detail about the Strategy as part of a Government update later in the day. 

    “The Strategy goals include achieving sustainable growth and delivering an excellent education and student experience,” said John. 

    “Developing global citizens – people who can study, work and live across cultural and national boundaries – is also a priority. This relates to students visiting New Zealand but also domestic students benefiting from an international component to their education, onshore or offshore.”

    The International Education Strategy launch followed the announcement of new post-study work rights for international students, by Minister of Immigration Hon Iain Lees-Galloway, on Wednesday.

    Designed to support the vision of the new strategy, the changes reflect a focus on high-quality education, and a clear pathway to residency for those with the skills and qualifications needed in New Zealand. 

    The International Education Strategy 2018-2030 is available on this link.

    Watch what delegates at NZIEC had to say about the new International Education Strategy 2018-2030 below.

  • Five reasons to study abroad

    She has recently returned from a five-month exchange at National Taiwan University in Taipei where she studied law and Chinese language.

    “During my exchange, I built deep relationships with people from all corners of the globe, experienced new things and connected with the Chinese language.

    “I wondered why more people didn’t choose to go on a university exchange?”

    Excuse 1: “It’s too expensive”

    The main costs for an exchange are flights, visas and vaccines (if required), accommodation, transport and food – and most people would already be paying those last three costs in New Zealand anyway.

    Of course, cost really depends on where you choose to go but in some parts of Asia, these costs can be much cheaper than New Zealand. That was certainly the case for me in Taiwan: my rent was $100 NZD per week, food was $3-$8 NZD per meal and buses and trains were still cheaper than in New Zealand.

    If keeping costs low is important for you, scholarships will be your saving grace. Seek out scholarships that are available from your university, host universities, community groups, embassies and government.

    You should also remember that StudyLink payments will continue as normal and you do not accrue interest while studying overseas.

    Excuse 2: “I don’t speak a second language.”

    There are three ways around this.

    • Learn a new language at your host institution. My university in Taipei offered a very good Chinese language programme and I had lessons two hours a day, three times a week. Everything I learned in class I used in everyday life, and now I have the confidence to look after myself in Taiwan speaking only Chinese.
    • If language class is not an option, it doesn’t matter. I was surprised at the number of students studying in Taiwan without knowing any Chinese. They managed to look after themselves, though could only spend time with people who spoke their own language, and struggled ordering food off Chinese menus!
    • If you’re still not confident about learning another language, look at study options in an English-speaking country – studying in North America and English-speaking parts of Europe means you won’t have any issues with language.

    "Being an international student is a chance to live in a new country, meet new people, try different food and explore new places every weekend. If not now, when?"

    Mabel Ye at Kelingking Beach in Bali, Indonesia.

    Mabel at Kelingking Beach in Nusa Penida, an island of Bali, Indonesia.

    Excuse 3: “I don’t have time in my degree to go.”

    Like most things in life, an exchange requires some planning in advance but no one will make this happen but yourself.  If you want to go, you need to be proactive in finding out when the best time is during your degree, what prerequisites you need to complete before you go and which overseas universities offer your degree. It is that simple.

    Excuse 4: “It’s too much to organise.”

    The process may vary depending on where you go, but for me, there were only seven tasks I needed to organise for my exchange.

    1. RESEARCH countries you are interested in and universities that offer your degree (Most institutions have partnerships with overseas universities, so start there) as well as accommodation options.
    2. APPLY through your institution (or direct to the overseas institution if required).
    3. CONFIRM your offer of study at the university when received.
    4. PURCHASE flights, insurance and visa (if required) and accommodation.
    5. SIGN UP for courses at your host university online.
    6. ASK the university any questions you may have.
    7. GO ABROAD!

    Excuse 5: “It is out of my comfort zone”

    Being an international student is a chance to live in a new country, meet new people, try different food and explore new places every weekend. You are most mobile when you are young, with fewer work and family obligations. This is the time for you to do something for yourself, be independent and learn more about the world you live in. If not now, when?

    Mabel Ye visited Teapot Mountain.

    Mabel visited Teapot Mountain, two hours way from Taipei city by bus.

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