To get an insight into our International Student Programme, we believe our students and their parents are our best advocates. Here are just a few examples of what they have to say.

German Student, Gwen said:
“My Stay at Garin was absolutely amazing. I never really felt out of place, simply because everybody is so, so nice.

To be honest, before I came, I was a bit nervous, because Garin is such a small school, and since my school in Germany has around 2000 students, I thought, I might not be able to fit able to fit in, but that definitely wasn’t the case and I made many friends, because everybody here is so open and accepting and so I constantly spoke english, and while it was never really bad to start with, (In Germany you start learning english at a really young age) it improved a lot during my stay here. I think and dream in english and sometimes I even forget some german words. I was never really homesick, because I had an awesome Host Family and they and my friends became like my second Family.

Also, Denise, Diana and Jacqui are very helpful and while I never had any big problems, I knew, that if something would happen, they would do their best to make me feel better and help me.

I just can’t thank Garin and especially the International Office enough, for making me feel so welcome and helping me to achieve an amazing time in New Zealand.”

Korean student, currently studying Engineering at Sydney University:
“My English improved because there were not many Koreans and I learned independence. If I didn’t go to Garin College, I would not be accepted into this University.”
Japanese Student:
“I chose Garin College because it is small and I can know almost everyone. I think the New Zealand students at Garin are much nicer than other schools.”

“I didn’t like some other nationalities before I came here but now I am friends with them. I want to help other people to lose their prejudice about other nationalities. We have to know each other. This is why I want to go to an international university. I want to know more about people who come from different countries. I was not like this when I first came to New Zealand. It was really good to go overseas and study like us because it changed the way I think. If I am still in my country my thinking would still be the same.”

Thai student:
“It was good for me to come to Garin because it is small and the teacher can look after you more because there are not many students. I also had Chris and Jenny helping me to understand everything better in the classes, for assessments and homework. I feel that I will not grow up like this if I went to bigger school with more international students and also more Kiwi students. I feel proud of myself now. I can pass my assessments and I know what I am doing and I know what is good and what is bad. I think a Catholic school is more friendly”
Korean student:
“We are all together like a big family. Everyone is friends.”
Japanese student:
“I met special people who helped me in a good way”
Korean student:
“We study with the Kiwis. We can be friends with the Kiwi’s more easily”
Korean student:
“I can aim for higher universities at Garin”
German student:
“its easier to make friends with the New Zealand students because it’s small and you know everybody”
German student:
“I was not sure if I could come to Garin because it was such a small school but the people are friendlier and they get to know you sooner because I have to mix with them. There are only 3 Germans here”
German student:
“It’s easier to know the people because the school is small and I have the same people in some of my classes”
Japanese student:
“I could talk with the Kiwi students. This is the biggest thing. I made friends and they are coming to the airport to say goodbye. I had a little gathering with my friends on Saturday and it was so nice. Many friends came and they were all Kiwi friends except for one. I can have a conversation with Kiwi people now. When I came here I couldn’t have a conversation. So I don’t want to leave here really – I want to come back next year. The saddest thing is I can’t make any memory with my Kiwi friends next year. That is the saddest thing. It was a very good study abroad programme.”
Japanese student:
“When I went to Wellington I met some of the people from my school and they said it was very hard to make Kiwi friends because their school is very big and the Asian community is very big. So I am very happy I came to a small school because I can make friends with anyone of any age. It is a very good thing. It is the best memory in my life because I didn’t know if I could do it”
Student Y graduated from Year 13 in 2008 and attended the University of Warwick in England in 2009. She graduated from university in 2012 with a Bachelors Degree in International Relations and now she will do her Masters Degree at ANU (Australian NationalUniveristy) which is the number one university in Australia. Here is her story:
“When I first arrived at the tiny Nelson Airport, I was a little disappointed because I did not think the city looked like NZ at all. But soon after that, this small city became my favourite. Having no abilities to understand and speak English, I did not know how I was going to adjust into the new environment but with the great excitement pumping inside me, I just looked forward to getting to know this place and its different culture.”

Click here to read more: Studenty Story

Encouraging words from a parent of a former international student at Garin College:
“We would like to thank you for all your support and great guidance in our daughter’s school life. We know that her life in Nelson has made such a great impact on her and her experience has given her strength because she seems more confident than she has ever been. Thank you again for your warm support”.
Another comment to the international team, from a Japanese student leaving this year to go to university in the UK:
“Thank you so much for the last 3 years. Without your support I would not have reached this far and I’m very glad that I chose Garin and I met all of you. Through my years at Garin I have learned many things including social skills and of course other academic skills. My English has improved too! I was so nervous about coming to New Zealand because I did not believe in myself. But because I came to New Zealand now I know who I am and I am very confident about it. All of my success both academic and friends etc were achieved because of you. I just want to say thank you for all you have done for me”.
This is what MK had to say:
“Garin College- is a lovely school. I came to Garin College because it is Catholic, boys and girls and new. It’s quite small.
Everybody thinks good school has to be big but think- principle and teachers know your name and Garin College is more like a place where you can play with your friends. (As well as studying) Students and teachers are nice to me. Even though it’s hard to them to help me.
Such as understanding me, explaining what I have to do etc. When I came here at first my friends tried to understand what I said. I’m pretty sure it was hard to them. I mean.still hard to them. But they are all so friendly and also there are great teachers here. Teachers helped me. It must have been difficult to them. And also system for international students is really good. We don’t have many international students at Garin because if there were lots of Korean students here, I wouldn’t speak English. I think it is thoughtful concern of them. It really helps me to improve my English. I love Garin College. That’s why I’m coming back to Garin College next year!”
A graduating Year 13 student from Taiwan who went to Auckland University in 2009 had this to say:
I’m so glad that I chose Garin College, Garin is small, but it’s a really good school. All the teachers and students in here are friendly and always happy to help you. I’m so glad that I had a chance to come here, and meet all the teachers and friends. I was so nervous when I just came to Nelson. I was not sure I could adapt in a new country and a whole new different culture. And now, I love it here! Although I only stayed 2 years at Garin I learned a lot of things – new skills, new culture, and made a lot of new friends! I had a really good time in Garin. I want to thank all the teachers and friends that helping me a lot when I was trying to reach my goal in here, and helping me improved my skills, subjects and my English. Thanks again for all the teachers that helping me and taking good care of me in these 2 years!

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