International Department Review 2023

It feels like things are returning to normal. This year student enrolments surged with applications arriving from all over the world!

I don’t want to jinx things but it does feel very positive in the International Education industry at present. Term One was a great example of how things bounced back so quickly. We had 41 students from Austria, Cambodia, China, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, Slovakia, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam. Term Two consisted of 22 students from similar countries, with the Term Three intake larger than normal. It was made up of 31 students, half of these students came from China and the other half from German speaking nations. Later on in the year we were joined by seven junior students from China who embarked upon a long-term, academic journey.

Please visit the school’s Instagram page for examples of the fun times many of these students had during the year.

International students, families and agents have been waiting for the day when New Zealand fully opened its gates. It was only natural that numbers were high from the onset. Of course, this was not simply a natural phenomenon, the International team at Burnside High School had been planning for this time for many months. The Board of Trustees was keen to support an ambitious marketing plan for 2023 to ensure all agents abroad were well aware that New Zealand was open for business and that Burnside High School was the smart choice.

The plan was executed as follows – I departed for Japan and Korea in February, visiting sister-schools, agencies and additionally attending one fair in Seoul. In May I flew to Vietnam and Thailand performing similar tasks as above. September offered an additional challenge in Germany. I promised one agency to attend their five fairs in five major cities in five days. This circumnavigation of Germany in five days was ‘entertaining’ to say the least! Following that whirlwind circuit, I repeated the process but this time visiting active agents in similar locations. Needless to say, the pace was not as frantic. I then returned to New Zealand for a couple of weeks, recovered and then repacked the suitcase and headed for China. There I joined Education New Zealand and their three- city agent seminars. The events were held in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. The best way to describe these events is Speed Dating. Each school representative will sit at a small desk, covered in school merchandise and brochures. Every ten minutes or so, agents will rotate around the room visiting another school representative like myself for us to then convince the agent that this school is the best option. It is an energy sapping experience but incredibly up-beat and enjoyable.

While away overseas, Sue Warnock our International Student Administrator and Yiting Yu our Accommodation Coordinator continued to navigate the ship. I am very fortunate to have such reliable and skilled people around me. The two of them continued to give outstanding support to the International students, parents, designated caregivers and homestay families. Without this small, cohesive team, Burnside International would not be as successful as it is.

Of course, as touched upon above, our homestay families that open their homes to many of our International students provide a vitally important role. They offer a safe and enjoyable environment for our students to grow in while these students are away from their families, their cultures and everything that is normal to them. Obviously, being away from one’s home country can be challenging for a teenager so we truly thank our homestay families for taking on this important task.

In closing, the International team at Burnside High School would like to thank everyone that is involved in this very complex industry. We hope you gain something from your dealings with the department and our wonderful International students. We hope the holidays provide you with happiness and a time to re-charge. We trust we will see you all again next year for what could be a very busy year.

Craig Rosengrave

International Student Director

Burnside High School

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