Student experiences



My name is Phichaphon Khlaiphayak but my Kiwi friends called me “ Picha “ I am a Thai student who studies at Nelson College For Girls.   I began on March 2013. After, I finished year 11 in Thailand, I decided to come to New Zealand and I have chosen this school to study at.

Nelson College for Girls is in Nelson city and it is a girls’ school. There are many friendly kiwi students in our school and many activities to do such as Cultural Diversity Day for International students where they give a chance for us to present our own cultures and Mufti day for donating money to help people who have a problem. In addition, there is a Senior dance where students from girls’ college and students from other schools come to dance together to have fun and make new friends. The environment of the school is natural and has clean air. I am really happy with my life in NCG with my adorable classmates and good teachers who always help me in everything when I had a problem with English and they tried to explain about things until I got it. All of the teachers are active in teaching International students and they have experience in understanding students who are starting to learn a new language. In this school, there are many students from different countries such as Japan, Germany, China and Hong Kong so I can learn other languages from my friends.

I appreciate my parents who gave me an opportunity to study here and always support me in education. I am also thankful to this school that gives us a lot of fantastic experiences in New Zealand. If you would like to have an experience like me I can guarantee that this school will give many things for you and you will love this school for sure. Lastly, I am grateful to everybody who has helped me to improve my English skills and personality.


My name is Quynh Nhu and I am going to tell you about the story of my second life. It is very different from Vietnam and for sure it is interesting as well. I came to Nelson to study at Nelson College for Girls, a single sex school—isn’t that  interesting? In Vietnam we do not have this type of school and it may sound a little bit strange, but why don’t you just try it? Believe me, you won’t be disappointed with your decision to come to NCG to study!

Well, as you will see, Nelson is located in the South Island of New Zealand. It is not a big city like Wellington or as famous as Queenstown, but Nelson is the centre of New Zealand and it’s the most peaceful, beautiful place I have ever seen. So you might ask me if it’s boring because it is so very different from Vietnam. My answer is always NO! Why? It’s not just because I am studying here or writing this, it’s because you will get to know things that you would not in Vietnam!

So why choose NCG? If you do research you will know the reason! NCG is one of the schools in New Zealand with the highest number of students who graduated last year. In senior school you will take six subjects if you are in Years 11 and 12, but five subjects in Year 13 with some periods free for self study. Learning in New Zealand is not about learning by heart but learning how to understand. Moreover all my teachers are very kind and help me to achieve the best score. It is no wonder you too will want to choose NCG for your future!

Actually, it’s not just about studying. We also have different events for every term, such as senior dances, junior dances, Year 13 Ball, Halloween, international dances with really awesome DJs. There is also cross country, sports day… many events just waiting for you! So I just want to say that I am happy with what I am doing here right now, with good friends, cool teachers and it is interesting living in boarding as well as homestays in the holidays. So why don’t you take advantage of this opportunity too?

So bye for now and I hope you will have a chance to experience the good things that I am lucky enough to find at NCG!

Hello, I am Hyun-Jin from South Korea and have been
studying at Nelson College for Girls since 2013.


The reason I came to New Zealand was to study English. I was only 15 years old when I heard about the country called "New Zealand" through my agent.  I had absolutely no idea where New Zealand was and to be honest, at first I was not interested at all. However, I soon decided I would like to study in New Zealand and wanted a city without too many Korean students.  Some of my Korean friends had gone to study in big cities where they only made Korean friends and could not make the local friends. The agent introduced me to Nelson College for Girls. Nelson is small but very safe and does not have many Korean students. In a big city, there are lots of Korean people and other international students so the school cannot really focus or help everyone but at Nelson College for Girls, we have just the right ratio of international students and so you can get help, make lots of kiwi friends and speak more English.


School life at NCG: First of all, the biggest difference between Korean high school and NCG is that we can choose the subjects we want or need for our future. We have three members of staff in the International Department. Our Dean is in charge of helping us to choose the subjects and making sure that we are on the right track for the future and she has given me lots of help for my university next year. Also, sometimes the timetable might have a clash so we may need to take  another subject instead. This happened for me at the beginning of this year and I was worried I might have to give up on my music. However, my Dean rang the music teacher at Nelson College and arranged for me to study music there. This was possible because the girls' and boys' colleges share the senior curriculum. She is very organised and helpful and always makes the best suggestion for the international students.


Another international member of staff helps me with finances and any documents I need and always drops everything to help me whenever I need help. She encourages me and supports me all the time. The international staff in our college are more like big sisters than just teachers. We gossip sometimes and they understand students from their heart, not just with their mind.


Homestay and Boarding House experiences at NCG: I first stayed in the Boarding House at NCG which gave me a great chance to make lots of kiwi friends in different year groups. Also, it was very meaningful for me to experience the different culture of corporate life with the local sisters. Now, I'm in homestay accommodation as I wanted to see what the homestay life is like. The Homestay Coordinator interviews us every term and asks about school, homestay and anything she might be able to help with. She is very friendly and always tries to find the most suitable host family for each student. I love where I am staying and my host mother treats me like her real daughter.


So in conclusion: I believe that even when we make the best choice, we always wonder at some point. I am still a  teenager, and although Nelson is quite small, I have been able to travel around and see more of New Zealand in the holidays. When I look back and think about where I am now, I am so pleased that I did not move school or leave Nelson. It  hasn't always been easy but I insist if the school, teachers, host family and friends did not support me, I wouldn't be here today in this position. I learned and gained a lot from Nelson College for Girls and I hope that more Korean sisters will also come to Nelson College for Girls and take even more than I did to become brilliant people.

I am Wan-Ting Jung from Taiwan

and this was my speech to the girls at the end of year International Assembly.


Hi everyone! As you all know, I am Wendy and I have been your international leader from 2015 onwards. I came to NZ in 2013 which was 4 years ago. Most of y'all might find this hard to believe but when I first came here, I was a very shy, quiet person who didn't want to talk to anyone. This was because I was worried about embarrassing myself in front of people who spoke fluently in English as it was their first language. But now as the years have gone by, I have started opening up more to people as I realised that was the only way I would be able to improve my English grammar, which would in turn help to boost my confidence. What we all need to remember is that the only way we can improve ourselves is by making mistakes, am I right?


I have always been into playing sports and so I wanted to continue with that even after I came here and hence I joined various sports clubs. I remember the first club that I joined was the social volleyball club. The good thing about joining a social club is that you are able to meet new people and it helps to improve your English too. These clubs helped build my confidence level up, so in Year 12 I decided to apply for the position of the International Representative of the school on the Student Council. To my good luck I landed up getting it. There was a reason behind me wanting to get this position-it was so that I could help the international students mix with the local students. This would help them build long lasting friendships as well as being able to get themselves fully involved, not only in the kiwi culture but also with the various other cultures that we have present in our school. I really hope that I have been able to succeed in my goal which I did by having a committee expo in 2015 as well as a school carnival in 2016.


So I guess what I am trying to say is hold onto every opportunity that is given to you as in the end we only regret the opportunities that we don't make use of. I feel that only when we make the most of the opportunities that we are given here at NCG, can they help to make our stay fun and worthwhile. So don't hesitate or worry about making a mistake, we all make mistakes!


To all the Year 13s out there I hope y'all have your plans sorted out for next year, but even if you don't it's fine, you will be able to figure it out in time. And to the other year groups out here I just have one tiny message for you guys and that is to make use of every opportunity that is given to you and I hope to see you guys again in the near future!


I want to end this speech by leaving y'all with a challenge Iike maybe try and learn a few Maori words each week or maybe do something simple like trying a bit of marmite on your toast which is a kiwi delicacy!


Hello, I’m Nana Yamashita from Japan!

I have been studying at Nelson College for Girls for three years and I can say that NCG is the best school to study abroad! NCG is located in a small but great city called Nelson which is the best city for students who want to make kiwi friends and try something new! There are plenty of opportunities to meet nice local people who are very kind and there are less overseas students living here compared to Auckland or Wellington. Therefore students can easily make kiwi friends and learn native English and kiwi culture. This is the biggest reason why I decided to study at NCG. I also like the weather in Nelson as it gets the longest sunshine hours in  New Zealand. Nelson is located at the top of the south island and is surrounded by beautiful sea and nature.

Nelson College for Girls

It is not easy to studying in another country without parents, but you will have a nice time at NCG  for sure. When you first come, you might find that  studying in another language is really hard but there are many people—students and teachers who are all kind and willing to help you. Year 11 and 12 students can take six subjects and Year 13 students can take five subjects from a wide selection of subjects. There are a lot of subjects which I cannot take in my country, such as photography, outdoor education, tourism, IT, drama etc.


This is my third year studying at Nelson College for girls as an international student. Since I have been in New Zealand, I have stayed in both the school boarding house and also with  a homestay family. In the Boarding House, senior students in Years 11 and 12 students usually need to share a room but Year 13 students have their own room. There are many kiwi students so international students can make a lot of friends. In homestay, students have their own room and there might be some other students living with the family as well. Students can join in with the local life of New Zealand.

Sports and music

There are plenty of opportunities to try something such as sport, art and music. There are many sports teams and singing groups or music bands which students can join. I have played underwater hockey, basketball and frisbee as  a member of the school team.


Our school has a lot of events through the year such as swimming days, athletic days, Cuultural Diversity, house competitions for art and singing art etc. All students are able to participate and do something. For example, on Cultural Diversity day, I performed the Japanese traditional fisherman dance with other Japanese students. You can share your culture with others and you can see and feel other cultures as well.

Hi there. I am Janis Lo from Hong Kong!

I am 17 years old and I am in Year 13 this year. I have been here since July 2014 when I was in Year 10. Studying abroad isn't a big decision for me because I wasn't forced to be here. Instead, I am the one who wanted to discover more and therefore started asking my parents whether they would like me to do that. Therefore I would say that studying abroad is a wise decision! New Zealand is a very unique place with a relatively small population. Although Nelson isn't one of the main cities of New Zealand, there is lots to do! Especially for those who like nature and photography, Nelson is the best place for you!


Big differences between New Zealand and Hong Kong: Being a Hongkonger isn't an easy thing. I would say my lifestyle is rush, walk fast, eat fast etc. In such a hustle and bustle city, everyone finds it hard to slow down, even for a second. In contrast, New Zealand has a relatively relaxed lifestyle and this allows me to feel the beauty of New Zealand and enjoy the nature of this beautiful place. On the other hand, I have met so many new people during my time here at NCG. I am really excited to meet new people from all around the world so we can learn each other's culture and language. I would never have experienced that if I had stayed in Hong Kong all this time, so I am so pleased that I made this choice when I was 15 years old.


School life at NCG: School starts at 8:45am except Thursdays,and finishes at 3:15pm with five periods a day, each being an hour long. NCG also provides a variety of clubs and committees, from sports and art all the way through to music. Through different clubs, students can discover their strengths which is therefore a further development for their own future. Last year, I joined a couple of committees such as music committee, choir, librarian, big brother big sister etc. I met so many new people and gained a lot of experiences which for me I think is the best part of it! Therefore, make sure you check them out and enjoy the new and fun experiences with NCG!


My boarding life: I live in the Boarding House during school term and honestly boarding is a new thing for me as well. I would say boarding is how you get close to the local students and other international students. The reason I think so is because my first kiwi friend is my roommate and boarding is what made us close and become best friends! We sleep, chill, study in the same room. Also, communicating with my roommate is also one of the straight forward methods to improve my English speaking. Although boarding requires a lot more rules and regulations, I am a person who loves meeting new people as well as enjoying living with about 100 girls. Thus, boarding is a better option for me.


Studying abroad has really changed my attitude towards life and has been a wise decision that I will never regret. I am planning to further my education at Auckland University or a university in Australia . I think I am interested in studying a Bachelor of Commerce at university and maybe being an accountant in the future. I do appreciate all the teachers and students who have helped me a lot at school and made my life at NCG so enjoyable!

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