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Our 11 international students were invited to the High Schools’ Rugby Have-a-Go Days by Study Auckland and Auckland Rugby International Academy.  Rugby is a big part of Kiwi culture and this was a great way for our students from Argentina, Chile, Japan, China and Viet Nam to understand and learn about the sport.  They enjoyed a morning of activities and had a chance to try playing touch rugby.


After they got outside and worked out their bodies as well as their minds at Fowlds Park in Mt Albert, they were given a “Special WSC treat lunch” at our International Director Joanne’s house and enjoyed mingling with each other.


Western Springs College has a tradition of respecting and celebrating our cultural DIVERSITIES. Our international students from over ten different countries share their cultures and are learning to join Kiwi mainstream culture. Each year, we have given a special International Kiwi Award to an international student who has made an extraordinary effort to settle as an international Kiwi and learned the culture through a lot of activities organised at school and in the community.  With a big group of new international students settling well into the new environment, we think Nicolas Sougarret from Chile can be selected as the Chilean “ambassador student” who is willing to share his experiences and tips with the other international students about the enjoyment and challenges around being a Kiwi.

Nicolas is from Santiago, the capital city of Chile, and he is one of the seven international students from South America. Nicolas is enrolled for a year. In his high school in Chile, Nicolas was doing well in English, Maths and Science. He heard about WSC from his cousin, who was studying here in 2011.

Here are Nicolas’s answers to our questions:

  • What is the score you would give yourself for your settlement in this new learning and living environment?

Answer: 8 out of 10

  • Do you have any challenges you need to deal with in your daily life in order to achieve your goals in NZ?

Answer:  It was not easy, especially at the beginning, to study English together with the classmates, who are native English speakers. But my English teacher and classmates were trying to include me, which made things easier. I can still enjoy.

I also find it difficult to make friends with the local students. I have got a lot of friends in Chile and didn’t realize that it might take quite a long time to mix with the local students. But I will try. My classmates are all very friendly.

  • What has made your settlement successful?

Answer: There are a lot of things to enjoy and appreciate. I receive good care from my homestay, and we get along very well. At school there are new subjects I haven’t done before, such as Graphic Design and Digital Technology. They are all very interesting subjects. I have found Digital Technology difficult but my teacher is very nice and always ready to help. My Maths teacher tries to talk to me slowly and always seems to read my mind. After school, I join the Basketball Club’s regular trainings. On weekends, I joined the Touch Rugby activities and wind-surfing or I hang out with my friends in town. Auckland is an amazing city. Things are all so positive, which definitely has helped me settle and enjoy my WSC life since the beginning.


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