Kāpiti College programme benefits entire community

Issue: Volume 94, Number 18

Posted: 12 October 2015
Reference #: 1H9cur

You could say the pair charged with organising Kāpiti College’s international programme is something of a dream team when it comes to international education in schools.

With 85 students from 17 different countries currently enrolled, Kāpiti College’s international education programme is one of the largest in the Wellington region.

Director of international education, Steve Burt, and director of international marketing, Paul Western, organise the programme and say they have a ‘say yes, and work it out later’ attitude.

This open and proactive way of working has seen them develop an array of innovative teaching methods and programmes to the benefit of both local and visiting students, including those with learning disabilities.

This year has seen the trial of an ‘international’ class for some of the school’s year 10 students. In the class they learn social studies and English through an international lens and have also been taught the basics of Mandarin and Thai language. International students join the class as they arrive at the school.

There is competition to get into the class, with those who are successful being given the opportunity to travel to China and Thailand later in the year. One student, Max Ross, was awarded a scholarship to spend three and a half weeks at Pibulwitthayalai School in Thailand.

Steve Burt visited Thailand a short time later to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the school, formalising the partnership between the schools and creating the foundation for long-term engagement.

Others in the region also reap the rewards of Kāpiti College’s successful international programme, with many students choosing to remain in the area and enrol with them.

The aviation programme offered by the school in conjunction with Kāpiti Air Academy has proved just the hook to entice one of Kāpiti College’s international students to further his education in New Zealand.

Kāpiti College’s programme is supported by a strong homestay community which creates a real sense of welcome for the students.

The Thai Ambassador to New Zealand, H.E. Maris Sangiampongsa, recently visited Kāpiti College and praised their achievements in teaching Thai language and culture.

He invited the families of the 17 college students who will soon travel to Thailand to visit The Royal Thai Embassy in Wellington so he can provide them with an orientation programme.

While the future looks bright for Kāpiti College’s international programme, there is one thing Steve is only too aware of.

“We can’t take things for granted,” he says. “It’s important to keep our eye on the ball as far as the student experience goes, as well as maintaining regular and meaningful contact with offshore stakeholders.”

In 2014, more than 110,000 international students spent time in New Zealand. These students spent more than $884 million in tuition fees in schools, tertiary institutions and private training establishments throughout New Zealand.

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero, reporter@edgazette.govt.nz

Posted: 4:24 pm, 12 October 2015

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