16 January 2019 at 9:00 am

International students learn about sustainability

Current and former international students at New Horizon College in the Hawke’s Bay have a growing connection to New Zealand, thanks to a tree-planting initiative which encourages them to make a positive contribution to the local environment.

Environment 5
New Horizon students enjoy a bush walk to Tongoio Falls.

As part of the English Language School’s commitment to sustainability, New Horizon students are taking part in regular tree-planting days, with the planted trees then being named after individual students.

Through a connection with Fresh Air Forests, a sub-group of Habitat Biodiversity and Pest Management Limited, students now not only plant trees but also receive certificates with the coordinates of their exact tree, so they can track its growth and progress in real time once they return home.

Student Issaree Homjun is a big fan of the initiative saying she enjoyed the combination of being outside and “doing something good for the planet.”

Lindsey Scott at New Horizon College said that while the experience itself is enjoyable, it’s the drive to keep New Zealand’s environment healthy and beautiful that is the biggest motivator.

“It spreads the message of environmental responsibility, which is one of New Horizon’s core values,” Lindsey said.

“Students are not only improving their English language skills but are making a tangible contribution to the wider Hawke’s Bay community.”

New Horizon’s plans to promote sustainability don’t end here.

“We’re starting a ‘bags not’ movement, aimed at significantly reducing single-use plastic bags. This sits alongside opportunities for our students to participate in local community projects organised by the Regional Council and Forest and Bird.”

A focus on the environment is also being woven into the teaching programme at New Horizon College.

“We’re launching a new course called English and the Environment. Environmental concerns are of course of significant international interest. We’ll focus both on what we’re doing well but also on identifying areas for improvement, and how we might share ideas with other countries.”

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