Awards dinner another success for international student programme
STUDENTS from Brazil, China and Germany farewelled their Wellington High School teachers, hosts and schoolmates at an awards dinner and show recently.
International Student Director Maria Walker says the programme is an asset to the school as well as the local economy.
Funds raised from the international student programme built the school’s new gymnasium and hospitality area, Ms Walker says. The music and drama wings, and the library have also benefited from programme funds.
The exchange students’ evening began with a dinner of internationally themed dishes and was followed by awards and performances. Though many of the students were in high spirits, saying goodbye to friends gave the evening an air of sadness.
International Students Dean Julia Beresford said this term’s graduates were “one of the best groups we’ve ever had”.
Paula Frank (16), right, from Würzburg, Germany, had mixed feelings about having to return home. She said that she loved the relaxed atmosphere in New Zealand but she also missed her family.
Brian Belworthy and Alison Welch, Paula’s host parents, are supporters of the programme. They have just said goodbye to Paula and are looking forward to hosting another student.
“There are different motivations behind having an international student come and stay, but ours was to engage with another culture,” Brian said.
The wider community also benefits, through cross-cultural relations and, as Ms Beresford notes, “it pumps money into Wellington”.