01 Aug Korean Students Welcomed to Canterbury
July 2016 – Canterbury will become home to 55 Korean high school students for the next eight weeks as part of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) signed between New Zealand and Korea last year.
Ten Canterbury schools will host the students, who are aged between 14 and 16 years old and come from rural and semi-rural communities in Korea. The students are part of a larger group 150-strong coming to New Zealand on scholarships to improve their English language skills.
New Zealand and Korea have committed to running the programme for three years, with 150 students coming to New Zealand each year. The programme is a key outcome of the FTA, which came into force in December 2015.
The Canterbury schools involved in the exchange are:
- Mt Hutt College
- Rangiora High School
- Kaiapoi High School
- Darfield High School
- Mountain View College
- Timaru Boys’ High School
- Craighead Diocesan School
- Geraldine High School
- Oxford Area School
- Lincoln High School
- Ashburton College
The students, who will live with local families in homestays, were officially being welcomed to the region at a ceremony in Methven on Thursday 21 July. Attending the ceremony was Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce, senior education officials from Korea and New Zealand, Korean chaperones, the Korean students and students from the hosting Canterbury schools.
The event wea organised by Education New Zealand and Schools International Education Business Association, supported by Canterbury International Education Leadership Accord, Christchurch Educated and Christchurch Educated International Students’ Association.
A rigorous nationwide selection process was held in Korea to choose students for the programme, run by the Korean Agency of Education, Promotion and Information Service in Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (EPIS). EPIS President, Mr Chul-soo Park, spoke at the event.
Last year about 7,500 Korean students came to New Zealand to study at universities, schools, polytechnics and English language schools – with a similar number expected again in 2016.
Background information about the New Zealand-Korea Free Trade Agreement
New Zealand and Korea, which has the world’s thirteenth largest economy, have complementary economies and are natural trading partners.
The New Zealand-Korea FTA facilitates the movement of goods and services, removes trade barriers, provides greater certainty to investments and establishes a framework for resolving trade-related issues. It also allows for more cooperation in the areas of agriculture, education, trade facilitation, science and technology and film and television.
Korea is New Zealand’s sixth largest export destination. Total trade in 2015 reached NZ$4 billion, with a fairly even split between exports and imports.