“Hello” in 28 different languages rang out through Iona College’s Blyth Performing Arts Centre on Monday, as more than 250 students from 28 countries gathered for a formal welcome.
The students, from intermediate school age through to adult, were the first of 1400-plus students expected to land in the region to study this year.
That will be an almost 10 per cent increase on the 1268 students who brought a $29 million economic benefit into Hawke’s Bay last year.
Learning Hawkes’ Bay, which is financially supported by the Hastings and Napier councils, is charged with building the international student business in Napier and Hastings. It works with partner schools, both public and private, to attract students.
Learning Hawke's Bay regional manager Steph Kennard organised Monday’s first official mayoral welcome for international students.
Napier mayor Bill Dalton and Hastings mayor Lawrence Yule addressed the students, who are attending 19 different educational facilities across Napier and Hastings, from Havelock North and Taradale Intermediate schools to Lindisfarne College, Woodford House and EIT.
Mr Yule thanked the students for choosing Hawke’s Bay. “I might be a little bit biased but I believe we have the best schools in New Zealand.”
Iona College teacher and emcee for the afternoon, Daniel Betty, greeted each group of students in their own language. He then introduced the entertainment: Scottish piping, Pacifica song and dance, and a haka, all by students from Lindisfarne College.
4 October 2017
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