A Bus Trip Like No Other – International Students' Day Out

Walking through the bush

In Te Reo Māori the word manaakitanga embodies the concept of hospitality and care for others. Manaakitanga epitomises the best of New Zealand culture, as New Zealanders are known throughout the world for being good hosts. With the academic year starting in February, Study Taranaki wanted to offer an event to welcome our new international students. “We had feedback from previous students that they didn’t visit the mountain and we wanted to change that”, says Study Taranaki Coordinator, Rachael Berndt. “Plus the members of Study Taranaki felt it was important that new students feel like they are welcome and have the opportunity to get to know each other soon after they arrive.”

On Saturday 25 February 2017, Study Taranaki hosted 41 International students. Students were from Japan, China, South Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, Germany, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu. The trip was designed to give everyone a taste of three things that make the Taranaki region unique; mountain, sea and farm.  

The first stop was Mt Taranaki where we explored the mountain, and Dave Rogers from the Department of Conservation talked about the volcano’s history and the plants in the region. Students learnt how long it takes to get to the summit and to always be prepared for changing weather conditions.  

In the water

Lunch was spent at the Fitzroy Boardriders’ Club, hosted by surf coach Daisy Day. Everyone enjoyed walking on the beach and dipping their toes in the water. A game of Frisbee was popular and a great icebreaker.

Our final destination was Trewithen Farm, where we saw the autumn calves and marvelled at the technology behind the rotary milking shed. A real highlight was being able to try delicious cold milk straight from the vat, because it was a very hot day!

Francis Douglas Memorial College’s International Dean, Margie Smith said; “The students were great, they started off quiet and then by end the day were swapping details. I also thought the variety of events worked well - a real taste of Taranaki. We had lovely weather, which made it all the more perfect.”

Hopefully this bus trip is the start of some lifelong friendships and encourages our new students to get out and see more of the region. It’s also allowed the Study Taranaki collective to make contact with new students and learn about them and their experiences here.

Welcome to Taranaki!  Mā mātou koutou e manaaki (We will take care of you).