Key initiative supports university’s increased focus on domestic international market

The 42 international students have been studying at Long Bay College on Auckland's North Shore.

Over the summer period, Massey University will be hosting 42 international students who have been studying at Long Bay College, on Auckland’s North Shore.

The students, who vary from year nine to year 13 will be staying at the Auckland campus’s Te Ohanga Village with Long Bay College staff as their chaperones.

As part of Massey’s long-standing relationship with the college, a discussion was held earlier this year and a concern was raised around the closure of borders with the possibility that students would return home and now be allowed back into the country, which has now become a reality.

Dr Jeffrey Stangl, Director of International and Strategic Partnerships at Massey’s Business School says: “It has really worked out well because the parents expressed a preference for their children to stay here in New Zealand where it’s much safer, and most importantly where they can continue their education.”

He says Long Bay College is very grateful that it is able to provide pastoral care all under one roof as the students’ mental health has been a very strong consideration going into the initiative.

“All the students came from home stays and there was concern going into the summer period that host families would go on vacation, have family Christmases etc. and the college expressed if they stayed in their homestays without going to school every day and seeing friends that they would feel isolated.”

Tyson Cao, a year 11 student from Vietnam says he is really excited for the sleepovers and to experience a New Zealand Christmas: “In Vietnam we don’t have a proper Christmas or a holiday for itso I’m looking forward to fun activities and something that will involve all international students. We are all connected here and it’s more like a community and the facilities at Massey are great.”

He is joined by his best friend Nhi Ha, a year 12 student also from Vietnam, who has lived in New Zealand for three years during the school year and is excited to finally experience a New Zealand summer and a “kiwi Christmas.”

“I don’t know what’s different here yet because all I see about Christmas is winter and snow, I don’t know what it’s like in New Zealand or to have the New Year without my family. However, It already feels like home here, having a place to stay with your friends and the positivity is just awesome.”

Although Nhi  has one year left at high school, she says she is interested in marketing and businesses courses and is possibly thinking of studying event management at university.

During their stay, students will also be exposed to different courses on offer at Massey starting with a finance session at Massey’s Business School next Friday.  Deputy principal of Long Bay College, Jayne Jones says there will be a range of activities on offer throughout the summer.

Joy Hotter from Education New Zealand is working with Massey’s Centre for Professional and Continuing Education to put on the global competence certificate that will be held in January over three weeks. There are also activities for students being arranged that will allow them to go around the university and see different colleges. “Often students only know the subjects they have at school and they may be very different to what is available at university,” Jones says.

A business teacher from Long Bay College who used to be a fitness instructor will teach aerobics while  a computer teacher will show students how to paint theatrical makeup. Other activities will include bakeoffs, pizza making competitions, walks around the local area, Christmas and New Year’s parties and a summer ball are all on offer.

Ms Jones says they have also organsied an orientation of the library and after Christmas they’ve also organized a lot of research-based activities and will link the students up to the sports hub where they will have the chance to start their own badminton teams and play against staff members.

“We wanted this to be a really positive, fun experience for them and we’ve had some real success stories so far with students being very shy and timid to immersing themselves in activities and coming out of their shell and making new friends.,” Jones says.

Dr Stangl thanks the four Long Bay College teachers who are dedicating their time this summer to supervise the students during their stay.

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