Every year, Queen Margaret College welcomes students from around the globe. In 2019, we have 22 international students from 10 countries, from places as diverse as Hong Kong, South Korea, Papua New Guinea and The Netherlands.
Students come to QMC for a variety of reasons. Year 9 student Pinn Sriherunrusmee arrived in New Zealand in Term 3 2018, from Thailand so she could learn more English.
“New Zealand is a safe country to live in, so I wanted to come here. My parents sent me to QMC because there aren’t many Thai people studying here so I can speak more English at school and in the boarding house.
“I really like the weather here, and I like that I can learn PE and Japanese.”
Year 12 student Stasya Lytvynenko has wanted to come to New Zealand ever since she saw Lord of the Rings as a child. She has previously boarded in Switzerland, and her parents live in Ukraine.
“While choosing a boarding school after studying in Switzerland, I discovered there is a high level of happiness and high quality of education in New Zealand. One of the other main reasons I wanted to come here was the nature and the lack of pollution. With my love for photography, New Zealand is just perfect. I found QMC by looking for IB schools that would have the subjects that I wanted,” she says.
So far, highlights for Stasya have included New Zealand’s beauty and the friendliness of people.
“The fact that you can see the stars at night from my window in the boarding house is so wonderful: I love stars and being able to see them in town fascinates me. There is no air pollution or light pollution. The people in school and even strangers in the city are friendly. So many things are within walking distance, and it’s such a pleasure to walk around town in the weekend.
“Wellington is a wonderful city and in such a short period of time New Zealand has made me feel like I’m home.”
Of course, living thousands of kilometres from home is not without its challenges.
“Learning in English is the biggest difference between QMC and Thailand,” Pinn says.
“Having to study everything in English has been my biggest challenge.”
“I didn’t suffer from homesickness when I studied in Switzerland, but I guess being 17,000 plus kilometres away changes that,” Stasya says.
“I will only be going home twice this year; in the April holidays, for my birthday, and at the end of the year for summer holidays in December. It’s hard not seeing friends and family for such a long time, but it will be more exciting to see them again when I return home. I like QMC, and I’m sure I made the choice in schools.”