MARLENE ROSS, Germany (German)



I came to study at Pakuranga College in the middle of Year 9. At first, it was very hard for me to get used to the whole environment, as I used to be really shy and wasn’t confident in speaking English. I had always been scared to speak it because I didn’t want others to make fun of me, but then I realized that everyone is really friendly, supportive and always keen to help.

After opening myself up and meeting different people, I’ve been able to experience and learn heaps of new things. I joined the Kpop group and applied to be an international leader. I’m sincerely grateful that I get to be the International Head Girl. Even though it will be a new challenge, I’m excited about what we will be doing for the international students.

Studying at Pakuranga College is one of the best things I’ve chosen to do. I’m truly glad that I get to choose subjects like Dance and Japanese that aren’t available in Hong Kong, and get to experience things that I wouldn’t have been able to if I had stayed in HK. During my time here, I’ve been able to build up my confidence, step up and come out of my comfort zone.

After college, I’m intending to go to Melbourne for university. One of my goals is to travel and explore the world because there are so many things out there that are wonderful and interesting.


My experience as a Pakuranga College student has been great. Everything from my homestay family to the sports teams I have been able to play for, have all been a memorable part of my stay in New Zealand. Like New Zealand, Pakuranga College embraces the international community, so that you always feel at home. The school program gives you the freedom to grow and become independent, but they are also caring and always willing to help you out with whatever you need.

I also really enjoyed being in Auckland. It’s a multicultural and safe city with lots of cool places to explore.

LEO LIU, China

I started studying at Pakuranga College as a Year 9 international student at the beginning of 2016. So far it has been an excellent journey of my life!

Studying at Pakuranga College is as joyful as it is exciting, one of the significant aspects that can’t be overlooked is the freedom of course selection here is not available in China. At Pakuranga College, I was able to choose the subjects that I am interested in which would build the foundation for my university study in the future. During my time at Pakuranga College, I have been lucky enough to be a 2020 Pohutukawa Peer Support Leader, science club executive as well as one of the International Head Students 2020. Through each of these, my leadership skills have been improved and I was able to enlarge my social circle.

To tell the truth, studying in a foreign language environment is certainly a big challenge. It was really hard for me at the beginning because of the language difficulty I had. I was scared to make friends, since I barely spoke a word of English. Fortunately, no-one made fun of me. Instead, all my classmates and teachers taught me how to speak English coherently and how to sound more like a native speaker. It is super easy to gain confidence and make decent progress in English with the help of classmates and teachers.

As I was born into a family of doctors, I developed a passion for science when I was a kid. Here at Pakuranga College, I am able to do study courses such as Biology, Chemistry and Physics, that I particularly enjoy doing. After leaving college, I wish to study Dental Surgery or Dentistry as my major.


Ich habe ein ganzes Jahr am Pakuranga College verbracht, und das bleibt bestimmt das beste Jahr meines Lebens. Ich konnte so viele neue Leute und einen völlig anderen Lebensstil kennenlernen und mein Englisch verbessern.

Mir haben die vielen verschiedenen Fächer am Pakuranga College besonders gefallen, die ich ausprobieren konnte – Fächer, die wir in Deutschland nicht haben. Mit Tanzen und Lebensmitteltechnologie hatte ich riesigen Spaß, und in Technologie habe ich sogar einen Liegestuhl gebaut, den ich mit nach Hause nehme! Die Entscheidung für Pak als meine Schule war die allerbeste überhaupt. Ich möchte mich bei allen meinen Freunden, Lehrern und dem Internationalen Büro für ihre Unterstützung während des ganzen Jahres bedanken.

ANTHONY DAO (Đào Thế Anh), Vietnam

One of the significant differences between studying in New Zealand in general and at Pakuranga College specifically, and studying in Vietnam, is the learning style. It is a lot less stressful than studying in Vietnam. I can choose to study those subjects that I prefer, instead of everything and so I have more time to get involved in other exciting activities. At Pakuranga College, they teach you to be more productive and imaginative. I also have the opportunity for hands-on, practical learning rather than just theory. The teachers always make the lessons fun and enjoyable, so I never get bored.

When I first came to New Zealand, I was extremely nervous about everything: my English, my confidence, my background. However, over time I got used to my new life. At first my English was very poor, but I discovered that making friends was the best way for me to improve. As my English got better, everything else changed too. I was able to communicate more, to contribute to lessons and my learning just got better and better!


My experience at Pakuranga College couldn’t have been better.  All the teachers were lovely and always very caring.  The subjects made me interested in what I was learning and a lot of them involved trips.  All the students were so friendly and always willing to help and that is why the environment at this college is so good and healthy.  I always looked forward about coming to school.  Even when I felt homesick, Pakuranga College made me feel comfortable.  This experience was awesome, not only because I’m in a beautiful country but because of everything else here – the College and the people, are amazing.  It helped me a lot to develop as a person and to know and understand myself better. Now, at the end with all these unforgettable memories, I’m happy to say that Pakuranga College feels like a second family for me.


Mein Auslandsaufenthalt war die beste Entscheidung meines Lebens, und ich bin echt dankbar, dass das Pakuranga College es mir ermöglicht hat, zu wachsen und mich weiterzuentwickeln, mich besser kennenzulernen und an Selbstvertrauen zu gewinnen. In Neuseeland in die Schule gehen ist so ganz anders als in Deutschland. Wie die Lehrer hier unterrichten, das ist einzigartig. Die ganze Erfahrung war super – vom Kennenlernen neuer Leute bis zu echten Freundschaften, von neuen englischen Wörtern bis zu fließendem Englisch. Nach sechs Monaten fühlt sich Neuseeland wie mein zweites Zuhause an. Ich bin dem Pakuranga College für diese Chance und meine unvergessliche Zeit hier unendlich dankbar.


This school gave me many opportunities and made me feel at home. I enjoyed many activities such as football, dance and drama plus I enjoyed the school talent show and the school production.  I enjoyed lots of things that I could not have done at home in Colombia and I would like to have spent more time at this school!


Deciding to come to study in New Zealand was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life. This is due not only to the completely different lifestyle that I have been able to experience, but also the memorable friendships, maturity and independence that I have gained from being at Pakuranga College.

A peak body for schools supporting
international students in the education sector

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