16 September 2015 at 9:00 am
Japanese teachers visit New Zealand schools
From 24-28 August 2015, Air New Zealand and Education New Zealand (ENZ) organised a familiarisation tour with 10 teachers from private high schools across Japan.
Participating schools had previously indicated their interest in New Zealand through a survey put together by Air New Zealand and ENZ and also attended a seminar prior to embarking on the tour.
Japanese teachers were the focus for this familiarisation visit in recognition of the fact that they are among the key influencers, along with alumni and agents, for Japanese students and their families when considering international study locations. The word-of-mouth promotion of New Zealand as an education destination that comes from these visits is highly effective.
The four-day tour started off with a visit to Rotorua where we visited the agrodome at the Rotorua English Language Academy to see the famous farm show, followed by a wonderful Māori experience at Te Puia. On the second day, despite the heavy rain, we received a warm welcome at Tauranga Boys’ College and Girls’ College, visited Hobbiton and enjoyed the experience of a Kiwi farm stay in Cambridge. The third day saw us visit the Waitomo glow warm cave and Waikato University, where the boys’ rugby team were hosted in July this year as part of the Game on English programme. The final day was dedicated to Auckland, where we visited Northcote College and Language International.
Participants were impressed by the quality of programmes and facilities offered by New Zealand schools and universities. The Cambridge farm stay in was also very well received by the teachers who considered it a uniquely New Zealand experience. Through conversations with teachers and counsellors, the Japanese teachers were also reassured by the level of support offered to international students in New Zealand. The group also had the chance to speak to some Japanese students and saw how well they integrate with New Zealand students in the classroom. A reflection of New Zealand’s emphasis on diversity, I believe.
With the growing demand from the high school sector in Japan, we were pleased to showcase New Zealand’s high-quality of education, along with the Kiwi lifestyle and cultural experiences. Following the trip Yamate Gakuin Junior and Senior High School in Yokohama has made a decision to send a group of students to New Zealand starting August 2016. Takigawa Boys' Junior and Senior High School in Kobe will also start offering a 3 months programme in New Zealand from 2018.
I look forward to facilitating more relationships between New Zealand education providers and institutions and agents in Japan in the coming year.
I would like to sincerely thank all the institutions, local tourism offices and venues, and Air New Zealand for their support in making this programme a success.