More than 750 international students from 56 different countries attended Christchurch’s Student Welcome last Friday, organised by the ChristchurchNZ international education team.
ChristchurchNZ International Education Programme Manager Bree Loverich says it was awesome to see such a strong turnout at the event.
“Our international students received a warm welcome to Christchurch and it was fantastic to meet students from all over the world,” she says.
“This event was a fantastic opportunity to bring together new students, international education staff, homestay families and volunteers to celebrate our different cultures and showcase all there is to see and do in Christchurch and Canterbury.”
Carl Joseph Reyes, a mechanical engineering student at the Ara Institute of Canterbury, attended Friday’s welcome event and says it was a great opportunity for students to get to know all the different activities they can access in Christchurch.
Originally from the Philippines, Mr Reyes is an avid downhill mountain bike rider and entered the draw to win a pass to Christchurch’s Adventure Park.
“I really like it here in Christchurch because I have the city life and the adventure of the great outdoors on my doorstep,” Mr Reyes says.
“I also feel more motived to get involved with volunteering activities now that I know how to get involved and what organisations exist,” he says.
Ms Loverich says Christchurch’s strong portfolio of education providers and vibrant outdoor lifestyle makes our city a popular destination for international students.
“We have over 11,300 international students studying in our region and we want to show them that Christchurch really is the place to try new things and discover their passion, whether its sports, arts, nature or cultural events.”
Students were entertained by live music, giant games, a Kapahaka performance and other dancers and entertainers at the event, hosted at Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu.
Canterbury’s favourite rugby team, the BNZ Crusaders also joined community groups and tourism operators to welcome students to our city.
Ms Loverich said the event’s huge success was made possible thanks to the support of sponsors and supporting partners including Education New Zealand, University of Canterbury, Lincoln University, Ara Institute of Canterbury, China Southern Airlines, Christchurch i-SITE Visitor Centre, Great Journeys of New Zealand, Hassle-free Tours, Christchurch Adventure Park.