Wander down the corridors of the technology block at Kuranui College this term and you may be forgiven for thinking you’re in culinary heaven given the pleasant aromas emanating from the school’s food tech classroom.
Nine students from around the globe have enrolled in the South Wairarapa college, each bringing with them a taste of home. Teacher Ken Ryan felt that this presented a good opportunity for his students to embrace the diverse cultures that the international students bring to the kitchen.
“We’re lucky to have students visiting from Japan, Brazil, the Netherlands, Germany and Austria this term,” explained Ryan. “It’s a great way to introduce students to new tastes and ultimately new cultures. Cooking methods are culturally significant and showcase a nation’s philosophy, not just around how its people regard food, but also social interaction and to some extent a nation’s history.”
Kuranui College has seen an increase in the number of international students enrolled at the college over the last few years. This is the result of a long-term strategic focus. “We made the decision five or so years ago to actively promote the college outside of New Zealand. It takes time, but we believe we have a lot to offer our students from around the world,” said Kuranui College Principal Geoff Shepherd.
As part of the strategic plan, Shepherd will travel to Thailand and China next week with other representatives from New Zealand schools. They will be meeting with agents who will represent them to both parents and students.
“We will be introducing our schools and explaining our points of difference. In Wairarapa not only do we have unrivalled outdoor and sporting opportunities, but we are only an hour away from the Capital. We have a lot to offer our visitors.
“Many of our international students stay for a year or more and become an integral part of college life,” added Shepherd.
This time next year the students could be savouring the delicious aroma of Thai spices wafting along the college corridors.