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International Newsletter

Monday 29 June 2020

Kia ora koutou and welcome to our first International Newsletter.

It has been a challenging five months in 2020, that has asked a lot from everyone to slow down, reflect and prioritise what is important. I know it made me reassess my values and what I believe is important to me. One well known Māori proverb came to mind straight away:

He aha te mea nui o te ao
What is the most important thing in the world?

He tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata
The people, the people, the people

I have heard this proverb numerous times as a young man and never really grasped the real meaning of the proverb. During the pandemic it reinforced to me, like so many, that I enjoy human connection and the lack of it made me appreciate the time people give to each other through conversation, sharing a physical space together and working together to find a solution.

The resilience our young men and women have overcome, especially in our international department has been admirable. Hundreds of kilometres away from family and friends, pursuing a dream for themselves to experience a different culture and educational setting.

Adapting, being flexible to the unknown and making the best of a situation have been traits all students have added to their character toolbox over the lockdown.

With our borders still closed and the uncertainty of quarantine protocols for a number of countries, it is still difficult for our international students to return home to their loved ones. Knowing they are safe here in New Zealand offers some peace of mind for parents and students.

It is now great to have all students back on campus reconnecting and enjoying a new normal. As we approach the Term 2 holidays, both students and staff are looking forward to a good break that allows them to explore further than their immediate neighbourhood.



Palē Tauti
Director of International Students and Exchanges

Pale Tauti

Around the College


Alan Fu (Year 13) – International Leader

This year, I was lucky to have been chosen as one of the Heads of International Culture. Through this role I was able to meet all the amazing students from around the world who decide to come to St Andrew’s College.

However, we have had a lot of misfortune with COVID-19, which put a stop to many of our plans, but we have been working around it and doing what we can to make the best of it. It hit our international students particularly hard as a lot of them had only been in New Zealand for a couple of months before we went into full lockdown. This was a hard time for me trying to survive six weeks with no contact with my friends and I can only imagine how much harder it must have been for our new international students. They were thrown into this strange environment, with almost no friends and then they were stuck in a homestay where they weren’t even able to be a part of the community they had formed as international students. To help them through this time we held a few online events, to allow them to socialise with each other and just have a bit of a breather. Now that we’re back at school, we have been holding fortnightly meetings with them in order to reconnect and revitalise the bond they had with us.

As we slowly get back on track with our plans, we had an inter-school potluck for all the international students at Rangi Ruru Girls’ School, Christ’s College and St Margaret’s College. This was an attempt to create a community for the international students, not only within the school but as a community between all the schools in Christchurch, that we hope will only grow bigger in the years to come.

Alan Fu
Term 2 Dinner


Each term we hold an international dinner/event for our international students and friends at St Andrew’s College. We decided to reach out to other like-minded schools in Christchurch and felt it was quite important to include students from St Margaret’s College, Rangi Ruru Girls’ School and Christ’s College. We received a wonderful turnout from all schools, with over 40 students joining in the fun of sharing food, fun activities, reconnecting and for some meeting for the first time. All international students were able to share some of their stories and experiences of the lockdown, returning back to their schools and reconnecting with their friends, communities, sport and service.



Ruthie Fariya and Alan


This term we had a wonderful presentation during International Club Mrs Fariya Naseem, who shared her journey from India to New Zealand as an international student here in Christchurch and now teaches Science and Physics at St Andrew’s College. Mrs Naseem explained the culture shock she went through, how she adapted and now calls New Zealand ‘a home away from home’. Please find Mrs Naseem’s poem below.

How have you been my country?
Hope things have been well.
I hear about the incidents now and then
Wonder if life for you will ever be same again?
For all the turmoil you have faced my country
I send you love
For all the challenges you have overcome my country
I send you admiration
For all the unity you still have my country
I send you strength

I am miles away from you my country
Close to sunrise, somewhere in deep blue sea
I have made this land my new home my country
I find this land like you my country
It gives me care and love like you my country
It gives me food and shelter like you my country
Wipes my tears and gives my joy like you my country
Far away from you my country, today I proudly hold your flag

I hold your flag with another proud flag
Just to say – I feel both flags are my flags
Both countries are my countries.


We are proud to offer a new certification for all students to continue their learning journey and develop the knowledge, skills and understandings needed to work, live and study globally in the 21st Century. The course is structured around four educational goals: Self-Awareness, Emotional Intelligence, Awareness about Others, and Bridges to Others. If you would like to find out more information, please contact Director of International Students and Exchanges, Mr Palē Tauti.


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