International Students and International Department Staff Members by Kelk Photography

International Department

2019 has been another exciting and successful year for the International Department, with girls making invaluable contributions to the academic, cultural and sporting life of the school.

Almost 50 students from all over the world have made Columba home this year, including Japan, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand and South Korea. We have also hosted short term students from Edogawa Girls’ High School and Keio High School in Japan, and a student from Belgium who studied with us for three weeks in Term 3.

We have continued to enjoy the wonderful space in the International House, which provides a supportive and focussed study and teaching space during the school day, and a great environment for social get-togethers. Among the highlights were a fabulous dinner early in the year with students, parents and agents and the Term 3 Big Dinner, which combined great food with students' musical and dance performances. A new addition to the International Social Calendar this year was Mrs Bishop's International High Tea. Under the expert guidance of Mrs Bishop and with the help of Mrs Duthie and Ms Hillier, the girls helped prepare scones, pikelets, lolly cake balls and pavlova. This was a wonderful opportunity for the girls to practise their best manners with fine china, cake forks and all the trimmings, and hone their conversational skills.

Academically, the girls have continued to excel in a wide variety of subject areas, and many have gained top grades in speech exams such as OCESOL and IELTS. They have also contributed to service within the school, acting as librarians, visiting the elderly at Yvette Williams Retirement Village and volunteering at After School Care in the Junior School. One exciting new initiative this year has been the International Peer Tutoring programme, which has seen the senior girls working with and mentoring students from Year 7-11 in subject areas across the curriculum at International Study Club.

On the arts scene, girls have started a junior dance group, travelled to Queenstown for the South Island hip-hop finals, and Samantha Wan has excelled in design, winning first place for her Static Image design in the National Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival.

Mrs S. Medary

Dean of International Students