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International Summer School Programme
Photo by Christine Bennet

International Summer Programme

Christine Bennet —

During November the international students not doing NCEA exams participated in a summer programme which consisted of outings and some school-based activities.

It began with a 3- day tramp on the Greenstone and then, after a well-deserved weekend break, the students visited the Albatross Centre at Taiaroa Head. Even though it was quite cold and windy we saw several albatross flying from the comfort of the observatory and some nesting. A very quick trip down to Pilots beach allowed the students to see some sea lions.

This was followed by a school based activity run by the music department where the students wrote and performed their own composition as a group.

On the Friday of the second week we spent the day on the Monarch for a cruise on the harbour and out to the coast. We saw several sea lions on the rocks, various sea birds and an albatross take off from the water and fly back to the nesting colony. We were then taken by mini bus from Weller’s Rock to Penguin Place where we saw 2 breeding pairs of yellow eyed penguins, 4 little blue penguins and a few young male sea lions. There were also 2 penguins in the rehabilitation centre.

The following Monday we went to the Dunedin Art Gallery where the students learned about NZ culture through art and then had a hands-on experience drawing a native bird.

The next outing was a visit to Toitu Settlers Museum and the Chinese Garden. At the museum the students had an immersive experience of what it was like to be an early European settler, dressing in costume and experiencing the close confines of a sailing ship. The Chinese Garden is a lovely oasis in the centre of Dunedin and the students enjoyed the quiet break.

The next day the students went on a bus trip with Awesome Tours. The first stop was Moeraki boulders where, even though the tide was in, there was much jumping on the boulders for photo opportunities. We then went onto Oamaru where we were taken on a walking tour of the old town and learnt many interesting facts about the early days of Oamaru by our entertaining guide.

The next activity was Waka Ama at Karitane with Mr Kane where the students kayaked off the shore.

The next 2 days were school based with students decorating boxes for cupcakes which they baked the following day for their host families.

On Wednesday Mr Kane again took the students out, this time for stand-up paddle boarding on the harbour.

On the final day Tip and Dr Thompson took the students to Warrington for hunting and gathering which the students all thoroughly enjoyed. That night we had our farewell evening for the homestay families and Lukas Hein showed a video he had made while doing the Greenstone tramp and Lukas Koenig showed a power point of his hiking around Dunedin. A big thank you to both students for helping to make it a very enjoyable evening for everyone.

We would like to thank all staff who helped to make this year’s summer school such a success!