Hero photograph
Photo by Sue Nesbit

International Department

L Russ —

It has a been a busy at month Shirley Boys’ and the International Department.

We have had short term international visitors from France and Japan and visiting school groups from Akiminani High School in Hiroshima and our long-term sister school, Toho High School from Nagoya.

Adrien Nobilet and Antoine Casse from France were welcomed to the Shirley family. Adrien and Antoine are well-travelled young men who have lived in many places all over the world. They slotted into Shirley well. They worked with our senior French class and really helped make the academics of learning a foreign language come to life. They took part in an International visit to Akaroa and the Junior Ski trip to Mount Hutt.

Masataro Murakami and Kota Yanagi, both aged 14, attended school for two weeks. They were especially excited to come to Shirley as they play rugby in Japan. Rugby has gained prominence in Japan since the last Rugby World Cup when Japan beat South Africa, and because the 2019 World Cup will be hosted by Japan. Masataro and Kota attended classes with their host brothers and did extra PE with the Rugby code classes. They trained after school with the U14B team. A big thank you to coaches! It was wonderful to see them welcomed by the Shirley students and seeing how well they quickly became involved despite limited English and time.

Akiminami High School sent nine students and their teacher, Ms Ikuko Shonozaki to Shirley for two weeks. The students were enthusiastic and willing to engage on every level. They were taught by Ms Kimberly Palmer and enjoyed morning classes and afternoon activities. The Akiminami group were especially adventurous on Akaroa Harbour. They rode the bow of the boat in the face of heavy swells!

Toho High School has had a very long relationship with Shirley and we value it greatly. This year, 19 students and their teacher, Mr Tsuyoshi Kato came to Shirley for three weeks. They impressed with their willingness to give everything a go. They were very interested in learning not only English but about New Zealand’s culture and lifestyle. They loved to interact with our students and a highlight for them and us was the time the spent with the Year 10 Te Reo students. These fine young men taught the Toho students our school song 'Oraka E' and the accompanying actions. I was impressed with the kindness and mana in the way they taught. The Toho students embraced this learning and performed the song for staff at briefing and at their farewell party. It is a special gift that they took home with them. They enjoyed outings to the city, boating on the Avon and Hanmer.

Makoto Niino, a Japanese student who is here for nine months took part in several events for International students run by CEISA, the Christchurch Educated International Student Association. He volunteered to plant trees in Halswell Quarry and played a traditional Japanese flute at a Cultural exchange afternoon.

A big thanks goes to all the host families of these students. Your generosity and welcoming spirit is the core of these trips, it is what they remember most on their return to their home countries. I hope the connection continues well after they have left.

As our international student body grows post-quake, we will be looking for short-term and long-term hosts throughout the year. We will put out requests via the newsletter or email as we require hosts. Please keep an eye out if you would like to be a future host.

Leanne Russ, International Administrator

Homestay wanted

We are currently looking for a host for a Year 9 Thai lad. His sister is already studying-long term in New Zealand and is hosted the Queenspark area. If possible, we would like to place him somewhere nearby. He is coming for 4 weeks to start, arriving early October, with the mind to possibly be a long-term student next year. If you would like to host, or know of a suitable host family, for the initial short term with the possibility of becoming a long term host please contact Leanne Russ, International Administrator for more detailed information at lor@shirley.school.nz