8 November 2017 at 9:00 am

Korean celebrities promote New Zealand education

Two well-known South Korean actors arrived in Christchurch in September to film a reality television show featuring their own school-aged children.

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The episode was broadcast in October and highlighted New Zealand’s future-focused education system.

Jae Hee and In-kwon Kim are famous in Korea and China, having appeared in a number of Korean television shows. In September they visited Christchurch with their kids and a film crew to shoot Change the Class, a Korean TV programme that follows them as they visit schools in other countries to experience education and lifestyle abroad.

Jae Hee was accompanied by his seven-year-old son Raon, while In-kwon Kim was joined by his two daughters Jayoung, 11, and Minkyung, nine.

ChristchurchNZ International Education Programme Manager, Bree Loverich, said ChristchurchNZ hosted the families and crew while they attended Halswell Primary School to shoot eight episodes of the show.

“The actors and their families got to experience first-hand the difference between Korea and New Zealand culture,” said Bree.

“This was a great opportunity to showcase Christchurch’s education system, as well as the wonderful lifestyle our city offers to visitors and residents.”

TVN, the broadcaster for the series, is famous all over Asia and has 28 million viewers, with the potential to translate the show into Chinese, Filipino, Malaysian, and Russian to name a few.

“This is huge exposure for New Zealand in the Korea market – the interest this will generate about Christchurch and the wider region is invaluable,” said Bree.

“Although the show’s purpose is not specifically to promote our international education sector, it is a fantastic bonus for us. The Korean and Chinese markets are important for international education, as well as to our visitor market in general.

“Some of the communications about the show focus on how New Zealand is first in the world for future-focused education, with Halswell being an example of a modern learning primary school.”

China is Canterbury’s largest international student market, and Korea its fourth. Both countries also contribute strongly to the region’s visitor economy, with more than 46,550 Chinese and 19,660 South Korean visitors for the y ear ending July 2017.

“The support and advice of [ENZ Regional Director China and North Asia] Adele Bryant and [ENZ Business Development Manager] Richard Kyle was absolutely key to the successful hosting of a large film crew on a primary schools campus,” said Bree.

The series consists of eight one-hour episodes. Click here for a clip of the students during a maths lesson.

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