The international students are a part of Nayland’s normal daily life. They like being here and having contact with Kiwis. But what do the Kiwis think about this situation?
“I really like it, cause they come from all over the world, you can talk to them, hear their stories, where are they from,” Year 12 student Lainie Cable says. Most Kiwi students see the advantages of having them here. “It’s a good thing for people, to have a kind of contact with different countries,” explains year 12 student Isabella Lorandi. She previously had a girl from Chile staying with her.
The teachers also have their opinions. Most like to teach them, to have them in classes, however not too many. “Too many is too hard, because of the whole assessment stuff,” hospitality teacher Mrs. Wendy Whiting says. “An amount of four or five is good.”
The special international classes in Outdoor Education, Earth and Marine Science and English are an often-discussed topic. Many internationals say that it keeps them from having good contact with existing students. However, there is another reason for having this separation. “It’s more difficult with our exam programme, to slot them in. It is a management thing,” principal Daniel Wilson explains.
The programme started about 20 years ago and works very well, but nothing is perfect. “We always think about how we could improve the programme,” adds Mr. Wilson. He and international director Mr.Gavin Millar meet regularly.
These international classes bring advantages to teachers as well. “I’ve the freedom to teach a lot of cool stuff and don’t worry about the assessment,” Earth and Marine Science teacher Mr. Bloomfield says. Mrs. Whiting also sees positives for teachers. “If you had time in your programme, the internationals could teach you dishes from their own countries.”
60 international students at the same time sounds a lot, but is it really? “They are spread across the whole school area, so you don’t really notice there being too many,” Lainie Cable explains. However, Isabella sees reasons for the kind of gap between the internationals and Nayland’s Kiwi students. “It is kind of nerve wracking, when you’re sitting next to two people, who are speaking their language and you don’t understand, cause they could speak about anything and you don’t know.”
Mr. Bloomfield has yet another view. “Bring us students to realise that the world is bigger than Stoke.”