It can’t be easy travelling to the other side of the world, immersing yourself in a culture and studying in a language that isn’t your own. But that’s exactly what Doyul Ki did when he started at our school this year in Year 12.
Doyul was researching schools in New Zealand when an educational agent told him that ACG Sunderland had great teachers and an environment where students enjoyed learning.
“So far, I have been experiencing what he said to me!” Doyul says. “My favourite thing about the school is the teachers. They are so kind and nice, but not just kind, they are passionate about teaching. And the best thing is that they try hard to understand what I ask as an international student. I love them all.”
Life in New Zealand is different to back home. Schools are competitive in Korea – “we compare every single student only by their grades.” Doyul didn’t play sports at home and was addicted to computer games. Now he’s playing badminton to stay healthy “and build relationships with school friends,” and says the natural environment is his favourite thing about New Zealand.
“When I arrived here, the first thing that I was amazed by was the beautiful and clear sky,” he said. “The second thing was that, if I go for a walk, I could easily find the kind of jungle that I have seen on the National Geographic Documentary channel. I used to be a computer game addict, but the beautiful scenery in New Zealand made me able to break away from the game.”
Doyul loves science subjects and is a natural academic. He also enjoys observing science at work in the real world. When he leaves school, he hopes to study Chemistry and dreams of doing a doctorate and becoming a scientist at the University of Auckland.
“I cannot forget the first time I solved a problem in a science experiment. At that moment, the small bulb started to light in front of me, I felt something big in my heart. Sometimes I imagine how wonderful it is to study chemistry as a scientist, not a student – it must be brilliant,” he says.
For now, he’s happy with his new life in New Zealand.
“I think I will never regret that I chose this great school, ACG Sunderland.”
ACG Sunderland Principal Nathan Villars said international students make a significant impact on the culture at ACG Sunderland.
“They are generally hardworking and motivated and, over many years, this has been positively infectious throughout the campus,” he said. “Like Doyul, our international students’ perspective on life can be very different to the typical ‘kiwi kid’ and we wholeheartedly welcome this mix of cultural experience.”