Farewell to Machi by Sharon Beaumont

International Department

A recap on the year so far in the International department, and what an unusual one it has been................

A lot has happened since we welcomed 11 new students and 10 returning students at the beginning of the year. We were certainly lucky that we managed to get all our girls here before the borders closed.

This year we have students from Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong, China and Taiwan.

Despite the lockdown we have managed to enjoy a number of activities so far this year, and plan to do lots more over the next two terms, including a trip to Queenstown in the July holidays.

We have been welcomed by the Deputy Mayor, had a trip to a Marae, been to Megazone, our International Leader, Sarah Lee, organised a day out at Tolcarne and we have been iceskating with the International Buddies.

Of course in and amongst all of that the girls experienced lockdown in a country and family that is not their own which was extremely challenging, as I am sure you can imagine. However, our homestay families did an amazing job of looking after our girls during this time which we were so incredibly grateful for. 

We all tried new ways to keep connected during this time and I was super thrilled when the girls surprised me with a ZOOM birthday party - a memory to treasure I can assure you!

We have also had two farewells. Hina left at the end of Term 1 and Machi at the end of Term 2. Both girls came for a short term study experience from Senzoku School in Japan. It is always sad to say goodbye, but I know that they both enjoyed their time at St Hilda's and made memories that will last them a lifetime.

Sadly, due to the continued border restrictions we will not be able to welcome any new students in Term 3