Helping students adapt to a new culture
We understand how exciting and/or scary it can be to move to a new country. Green Bay High School provides a high level of support to our international students. We interview international students regularly to make sure they are happy in their homestay and adjusting well to life in New Zealand. Students can also come to the international office at any time between 8:00am-4:30pm for assistance or advice. Among other things we can help students with study skills, curriculum questions, subject choices, visas, accommodation, insurance or booking travel around New Zealand.
In New Zealand, International students are supported by the teachers, peers, school management, the international staff, the academic deans, their host family, their agent and the New Zealand government. Everyone plays a part in making sure students are safe and happy.
Students can call the office number (+64 817 8173 ext 252) or come into the international office at school if they would like help. In an emergency situation, students should call the emergency number below:
Emergency Phone: 027 522 8721
International Department (STAFF)
Katrina Piezzo - Director of International Students "Having been an exchange student myself and lived in a number of different countries has made me a huge advocate of the benefits of studying overseas. In my position, I enjoy the variety, spontaneity and unpredictability of working with people. It is a delight to watch young people develop into mature global citizens – and know that I have been a part of that development."
Audra Neun - Homestay Coordinator "I am in awe of the students who come to NZ to study leaving behind their families and familiar cultures. Being a mother of teenagers myself I understand how crucial it is for the students to experience a good home life to support their studies. When placing students, I always ask myself, 'would this be good enough for my own children'? There is no greater satisfaction than to see the amazing bonds made between International students and their host families during their time studying in NZ."
Carla Seth - ESOL teacher "It is a real privilege to be able to teach such courageous students. It takes incredible inner strength to travel alone to a foreign country to study. The sacrifices these students make in order to be able to do this is truly humbling; not least living away from their family and friends. I’m keenly aware of this sacrifice and endeavour to give each student not just a broad education base but the care and support they need when trying to navigate a new school system so far from home."
Local Student Support
Green Bay High School has a buddy program to assist new students in their first few weeks of school. Our program is student driven and feedback from international students is very positive. Often the friendships extend beyond the school day as they get to know each other. The local students have developed ways to connect before the international student arrives in NZ, and assist staff in the training days of the new buddies. Our successful peer tutoring program, whereby students who would like some extra help in a particular subject can sign up, offers students guidance (with a senior student) to meet in the school library for tutoring.
Teachers and Support Staff
Teachers encourage and motivate students to do their best academically. If students are struggling with work, teachers might be able to recommend methods for catching up. If students are achieving very good results, teachers may recommend they join an extension class and start studying work from the year ahead.
Career counsellors can offer advice on further tertiary study in New Zealand or abroad. We have a careers room with university prospectuses for students to look through and the counsellors conduct interviews with senior students to discuss subject choices and options for beyond high school. They also organise different universities to come to school throughout the year to present to our students.
Students can visit our school Health Centre (situated in the Student Services area) during the day if they are feeling unwell. We also have a school physiotherapist available to treat students at school so they don't need to go offsite to access this service. Counselling services are available onsite at school for students who are feeling unhappy or stressed, or just want someone to talk with. Appointments can be booked through the student hub.
Excellent English is one of the most important factors for success at secondary school. All students are tested on their first day to assess their English level. Depending on the results, students may be placed in an English class (literature, poetry, plays, cinema) or in an ESOL class. The ESOL teacher provides support for the students across their curriculum areas with a focus on English. Along with the international staff, they are also happy to assist the students outside of class time.
New Zealand Governmental Support
According to the 2012 Global Peace Index, New Zealand is the 2nd safest place in the world to live (after Iceland). Even though it is safe here, the New Zealand Ministry of Education has created a Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students, something which most countries do not have. Parents of our international students feel safe knowing schools must follow strict rules with regards to international students. The Code of Practice is available in a number of languages and can be viewed via the 'Student Life at GBHS' page.
The Disputes Resolution Scheme
An appeal authority operates through NZQA and any complaints and/or disputes will be dealt with under the new Code of Practice and/or the International Student Contract Dispute Resolution Scheme. Students are advised of this at orientation and a “where to complain to” chart is displayed in a prominent place at school.