Student Stories

What our International Students say about Wainuiomata High School

Wainuiomata High School hosts students from all round the globe. They have the opportunity to participate fully in the life of the school and the community. They experience a different lifestyle and make lifelong friends. Their stories give a snapshot of what it is like to be an International student at our school.

Students' voices video clip is also available on our YouTube channel.

International Students' Voices (Please Click picture)

International Student Programme Video Clip (Please Click Picture)

Niko (JAPAN)

Name: Niko Fujii

Age: 13

Country: Japan

Hi! My name is Niko. I’m 13 years old and I’m from Japan. It’s been a year since I arrived in NZ, and I will stay here for the rest of this year. I love friendly people, beautiful nature and unique Māori culture in New Zealand.  

In Wainuiomata high school, there are Māori students, Polynesian students and students who came from other country (not an exchange student) as well as kiwi students. I love learning other countries’ culture, so they influence me a lot.  

Traditional Māori songs and Kapa Haka are always performed by Maori students and teachers in school events, so I can feel close to it. I am totally in love with their powerful voice and actions. 

Students can pick classes from dozens of choices. Variation of classes has also I'm pressed me. There are not only basic subjects such as English, math, sciences., but also classes like makeup, animation, dance, programing and so on! Students can borrow school laptops, so they can do their tasks which teachers have set online, by researching on the internet and typing things into documents. I think technology skills will help students in the future.  

Teachers are very helpful. They are very friendly, so I don’t hesitate to ask for help. When I struggled with my work, they always make time for me to teach me kindly until I understand completely. 

The school is surrounded by mountains so you can try outdoor activities, such as bushwalking, mountain biking and horse riding! When you get tired of study you can walk on the beach and have a rest too. There is a lively city and the shopping mall, where you can enjoy shopping and hanging out. It is very easy to get public buses. In this way, the school is located in a wonderful place. 

Everything is different to Japanese school I used to go, and sometimes find it hard, but at the same time being in this whole new culture and curriculum make me feel fresh and excited.  


Name: Rena Ichiriki

Age: 16

Country: Japan

Hello! My name is Rena. I am 15 years old. I am from Nagasaki, Japan. My favorite subject is Maths. My hobby is listening to music.

The nice thing about Wainuiomata is that the nature is rich. It was difficult for me to understand English at first, and even now, it is challenging to listen and understand. School in Japan compared to New Zealand is very different, I enjoy these differences.

In my spare time, I like to talk with my friends, watch movies and listen to music. My host family is so kind and friendly.  

I have not decided what I want to do in the future yet, but I want to work using English so when I graduate from high school I want to go to a foreign University.  


Name: Kittiya Arrakkunarkorn

Age: 18

Country: Thailand

Hello, my name is Kittiya Arrakkunakorn (People here call me “Kitty”) I’m from Pathumthani, Thailand. This is the 1st time that I've left Asia. So, everything is so new to me in New Zealand.

The reason I chose New Zealand is because New Zealand is in the top rank of the safest country’s and best Education in the world. And the reason why I chose to study at

Wainuiomata High School is because of the living cost here is a lot cheaper than Wellington, Auckland or Christchurch. There are many activities that you can do around or in Wainuiomata like trekking, surfing, swimming etc. The environment around the school is incredible and peaceful.

The teachers here are really helpful, kind and lovely. When I have anything that I don’t understand I will always ask them after the class. The other thing that I like about Wainuiomata High School is they use the technology in the syllabus like in Math class sometimes we do some quizzes on Quizlet.live etc. And the school also let us borrow the laptop so it’s really easy to study on the internet and also have the free wifi that we can use for searching for everything. 

Most people here are friendly and helpful, so I’ll never hesitate to ask them about the bus stop or how to go to my destination. The weather here is great. It is not hot like in Thailand. Here it is always windy, sunny and cloudy. But, sometimes it is really confusing like in the morning it’s so cold but in the afternoon it’s so hot. 

Last but not least at Wainuiomata High School you can meet many international students from all around the world like me!


Name: Kizuna (Kiki) Kuramoto

Age: 17

Country: Japan

Hi! I’m Kiki from Osaka, Japan. I am 17 years old. I am an international student of Wainuiomata High School.  

I got a scholarship from the Japanese Government project called Tobitate Ryugaku Japan. It’s very good project to encourage Japanese students to go abroad. I really appreciate that because I’m here and enjoying school life in New Zealand.

I’m learning a lot about Maori culture in school and home. I’m taking Maori performing arts and learning Maori songs. Wainuiomata High School has a lot of Maori students and Maori are very friendly. My host family is Maori as well. They are so kind and helpful. I’m so happy to stay with them.  

To learn another culture is very interesting for me. And it’s good to live in this global period.  


Name: Lauri Leskinen

Age: 17

Country: Finland

Hi! I’m Lauri, a seventeen-year-old exchange student from Finland. I came to New Zealand a couple weeks ago and have really been enjoying it so far! Now I’m doing Year 12 in Wainuiomata High School. I love natural science; especially Physics and Maths.

The reason for choosing New Zealand over many other destinations was the unique nature, easy-going kiwi life and the interesting culture. Every single day in Wainuiomata High School provides me plenty of new experiences.

Located in a valley, surrounded by the nature is a dream-like location for a school. Although it’s a beautiful place, the main focus is on study. Everyone is expected to do well, but Wainui High’s students are low-stress and easy-going guys.

Because of the high number of Maori students, day after day I keep learning more about different cultures and people. The lovely and very helpful teachers and staff take good care of their students with suitable amount of discipline, creating a wonderful learning environment which I’m proud to study in.


Name: Livia Schauff

Age: 17

Country: Brazil

Hello! My name is Lívia. I am 16 years old. I’m from Brazil and even though I find it a lot different than my home country, I’m totally in love with Wainuiomata High School! 

So far, I’ve been doing something different every weekend; exploring Wellington, trying kiwi food (which I’m becoming crazy about) and going out with friends.  

This is my first time away from home and I think New Zealand and Wainuiomata High School in particular were the best choices I could have made. People are warm, friendly and when I feel lost, someone always come to offer help. 

It was easy to socialize and make friends because the school has a great variety of events and parties which makes a big difference to my experience; and I’m really looking forward to the rest of the year!


Name: Maria Jesus Canseco Munoz

Age: 17

Country: Chile

Hello! My name is Maria Jesus Canseco, I am 17 years old and I am Chillan. My hobby and my passion is dance. I have danced since I was 4 years old and currently the type of dance that stole my heart is the contemporary.

I will be here for 10 or 11 months of exchange. I really like the natural landscapes of the country, I also like the relaxed life that people have here.

 Here the people I have been able to know are different from my country. Here they are more reserved, but at the same time they are very friendly and helpful. In Chile most people are outgoing, so we are interested much more in knowing foreigners and sharing parts of our culture.

My host family is really affectionate, attentive and worried that I have a good stay and that I have a good time. With them I can feel at home and well received.