International students mingle far from home

17 Int students - a

Six Catholic secondary schools in Auckland have brought some of their international students together for a  social event in what organisers hope will be an annual happening.More than 100 international students attended the event at St Mary’s College in Ponsonby on August 24, after school.

The other schools involved were Marist College, Baradene College, Sancta Maria College, Sacred Heart College and St Peter’s College.

St Mary’s international student director Sue King said the event was “student-driven” with international students at her school largely doing the organising, overseen by an international student prefect who is Kiwi.

International students sometimes struggle to mix with New Zealand students, so it was thought it would be good to bring them together for socialising and fun, Mrs King said.

Those at the event seemed to be thoroughly enjoying themselves.

An “icebreaker” involving pieces of a jigsaw was followed by a music/pop culture quiz with prizes, another sort of quiz using an app called “Kahoot”, pizza, music and dancing.

Most of the students present were from China, with others from Japan, Korea, Vietnam and Thailand.

Similar events have been held in the past, but these involved a smaller number of schools, or just individual schools.

Mrs King hopes the event can be given a name and can be held at a different college each year, “so that we all get the turn to travel”.

“I think there will be more and more students attending once word gets out that people at the event had such a good time.”

International students at Catholic schools in New Zealand don’t have to be Catholic, but their families do have to pay full tuition fees as well as other significant costs, for example
covering homestay, insurance, government levy and administration.

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Michael Otto

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