Hero photograph
Yuta and fellow cast in the excellent school production 2018, A Tale of Two Cities
Photo by Leanne Russ

International Relations - Term 3

Leanne Russ —

Term Three has been our busiest term yet. We have students from Japan, France, Italy, Thailand and Vietnam, and have also hosted short term groups from Nagoya and Hiroshima, Japan and China.

The beginning of Term Three was a whirlwind of new students and lots of activity.

We welcomed Wataru, Yuki, Tomoki and Uta from Toko Gakuen, who are here for nine weeks. 

Oscar arrived from France and is an AFS Exchange student for seven weeks. 

Niccolo and Lorenzo are on a two term AFS programme and are our first Italian students.

We have also welcomed 30 students from our long standing sister school Toho, 10 students from Akiminami High School and four students from China; on short term programmes.

Our students who arrived at the beginning of the year and in Term Two have had a busy time welcoming our new intake and involving themselves in various school activities. With a surprisingly warm, sunny winter, our boys were encouraged to spend time outside at lunchtimes and it was great to see them interacting with their Kiwi peers.

It was wonderful to see Yuta from Japan take part in the school drama production, A Tale of Two Cities. Yuta also designed a unit of work on Japanese food and took a Year 10 Food Technology Class. He taught them how to make Okonomiyaki, best described as a type of savoury Japanese pancake. Yuta has also regularly volunteered in our community garden.

Kaiki, Kotaro, Atsuki, Yuta Thong and Liew  were all involved in winter sports. Kaiki and Atsuki played badminton. Kotaro played basketball. Kotaro's team was runner up in their grade. Liew's table tennis team did very well too. Yuta and Thong regularly attend Target Shooting. It is great to see two of our new boys from Toko Gakuen,  Yuki and Tomoki,  also going along to try it out. Lorenzo from Italy  and Wataru from Toko Gaken, Japan have joined The Burwood Tennis Club and are playing men's Tennis. Lorenzo has also joined a local Scout Club and is enjoying meeting new people and the activities that they can offer.

Thong from Vietnam is very keen to take a leadership role in our community garden. With spring approaching he will be kept very busy. Thong arrived in Term Two and has impressed us with his excellent work ethic. He designed and completed his woodwork project in just one term; half the time usually given.

Uta from Toko Gakuen has only just arrived but he gave an impressive Piano recital at a recent Snell House assembly. The Shirley Boys were very impressed with his talent. 

It  can be very daunting to find yourself in a new country with a new language so it was pleasing to see Uta  willing to perform. He helped raise the profile of the International students and showed that music is an international language that can be enjoyed and understood by all. you can see a video of his performance on the International Facebook Page

Shirley Boys' held a  cultural concert and it was great to see Koki, Atsuki, Yuta from Japan and Matthew from Slovakia got along and support the Shirley Boys.  Koki and Atsuki volunteered to get up and try a Samoan dance!

During block week, the International boys took part in several activities and outings. A big thank you to Mr Skinner and Mr Keats who let us tag along on their Year 11 Geography field trip. We explored the city centre and learnt lots about the impact of the 2011 earthquake and the exciting rebuild and future plans for the city. Some of the lads visited the Wigram Air Force museum where we had a very interesting "behind the scenes" guided tour. We visited the Canterbury Museum and did a scavenger hunt there and also enjoyed the current Photographic Exhibition, Wildlife Photographer of the Year. The boys challenged themselves at Clip 'n' Climb. They tried their hand at Mini Golf with their Recreation class.

Our International Programme is steadily growing and interest in the new school which open in May 2019 is high. We have students returning for long term study next year, new enrollments for a year or longer and short term groups returning in Term One. 

The International Department is currently looking for people interested in long term hosting. If you think you may be interested please contact Leanne Russ at lor@shirley.school.nz  for further information. We would love to have you on our data base.