Buddy System

Global learning
Being a buddy to visiting international students ensures fond friendships and memorable moments. Erin Gatland (Year 13) has written the following article about her experience.

It’s always an honour to be a buddy for international students!

I’ve been a buddy for international visitors a few times during my time here, and it is a great way to learn a bit about other cultures in a unique way. This year, I’ve been able to once again be a buddy for one of the Shinagawa girls.

My buddy, Nano, has taught me some useful Japanese words such as “arigato”, which means thank you. She’s also taught my friend and I how to make an origami crane and a ninja star during one of my ‘study’ periods. When Nano arrived at our school, she gave me a gift of some cute Japanese stationery, including some really unique scissors.

While they were here, I was able to show her what it’s like to be a Year 13 student, and took her with me to a few of my classes to get a taste of what we learn here and how classes are structured. She sat with me and my friends, and we had a lot of laughs.

A few days before they departed, I was able to attend a Sayonara Party, which all host families and buddies are invited to. The Shinagawa girls got certificates and gift bags, and then they put on an amazing performance for us all. They did some songs in English, including a well-known Kiwi song, as well as some popular Japanese songs and dances.

When Nano left New Zealand, she also left with a little gift from me as a cultural keepsake of her time here – a pounamu double-twist pendant, which symbolises the joining of cultures and the bonding of friendship for life. By being a buddy, you are helping join cultures, and you are creating a friendship which has the potential to last for life.

Overall, being a buddy is always an amazing and rewarding experience!

If you would like to know more about being a buddy to an international student, please email our Director of International Students, Katrina Piezzo. Buddies can belong to the ‘buddy classroom’ using the code: br7fw0r to keep in touch with each other and be informed of class and other activities.