Host families needed for international students

Sukthleen Kaur, Yui Kondo and Linda Clifford. Tauranga Girls’ College are calling for families to host international students from the start of school term three this year. Photo: Taylor Rice.

Tauranga Girls’ College International Department are calling on families to host international students from July 2022.

With the borders set to reopen this year, it is the first time the school has been able to accept international students in more than two years.

This break had led to a shortage in homestays, and now with the college gearing up for international students returning, they are seeking out loving families that meet the requirements to host a student to put their hand up.

“The Ministry of Education has allowed us to take in a cohort of international students this year, and we have 10 lined up to come and learn in July,” says Tauranga Girls’ College director of international students Linda Clifford.

For the Tauranga Girls’ College principal, Tara Kanji, international students provide an essential role in the schools culture.

“We have really missed the girls coming from overseas to study. We are all about embracing and valuing the diversity tht international studens can provide,” says Tara.

“We are really looking forward to having international students return, but we need homestays.”

Due to the school having no new international students, the school has not needed host families to put their hands up until now.

For local Tauranga students, having international peers at their school also provides significant value.

“We develop compassion, and we learn more than we usually would,” says Tauranga Girls’ College deputy head girl of learning, Sukthleen Kaur.

“At our school we have three different international committees. Learning about different cultures and developing an understanding of the wider world is something that international students bring, and that is a very valuable experience.”

International students who have stayed at the college during Covid-19 such as Yui Kondo say that coming to New Zealand has been a life changing experience.

“In Japan where I am from, I feel that I don’t have as much freedom to be myself,” says international student Yui Kondo.

“Coming to New Zealand, I have not only experienced another life and culture, but I have also felt more comfortable being who I am.”

“Yui has learned an exceptional amount of English in her three years of being here,” says Linda.

“She’s been totally immersed in it. Yui has gone from being mainly able to only communicate through writing in our English as a second language programme to writing and speaking in NCEA level three English classes.”

Accepting international students into schools is something that everyone benefits from. Tauranga Girls’ College is searching for host families who meet the following requirements:

  • To provide a student with their own room with a desk, wardrobe and heater in the colder months.
  • Three meals a day as well as snacks and any takeaways or meals out your whānau are having.
  • Including your student in family outings or trips around our beautiful Bay of Plenty.
  • Provide transport to occasional school events or sporting activities
  • Be able to support your students transition into New Zealand culture and life with empathy and tolerance.
  • Agree to have all  members of the whānau who are over the age of 18 police vetted.

To contact the Tauranga Girls’ College homestay coordinator, Toni Bieleski, phone: 5788114 with the extension of 2168. Alternatively, you can email: tbieleski@tgc.school.nz

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