Almost 100,000 students come from overseas to study in New Zealand every year, but a few seem to embrace the experience both inside and outside of the classroom with exceptional enthusiasm.
This year, Education New Zealand ran a competition for the first time to find New Zealand’s top international students from all educational sectors. These students have highlighted the contribution that international students make to the cities and towns in New Zealand where they study, and to their fellow students both Kiwi and international.Nominees were judged on their academic achievements, their participation in institutional and community activities, and how they have thrown themselves into Kiwi culture and experiences. Institutions were encouraged to nominate the best of the best, and a judging panel has selected these winners to represent each sector.
so i'm going to inlcude below the details of the person i know. however, i would strongly recommend that you read about all the award winners, each of whom is exceptional. i met kai when doing the taku manawa human rights facilitation programme earlier in the year. i can confirm that she is indeed an exceptional person, and fully deserving of the recognition awarded to her. nz has been lucky to have her here over the last couple of years, and many of us will be sad to lose her when she finishes her studies and returns to her home country. here are the reasons she was selected for the award:
Kai Quan – Wintec, Hamilton
Kai is from China, and is a year three Bachelor of Applied Social Sciences, Social Work student.
Kai volunteers for and becomes involved with events on campus and outside. For International Social Work Day 2009, Kai volunteered to help in creating the stand at the library. Kai is active in the Ethnic Social Workers Support Group and takes on responsible roles within the group.
She has been involved in community events such as the Indigo Festival, playing an active part. In 2010 Kai approached Rawiri Waretini – Karena, tutor Te Whiuwhiu o Te Hau to learn the Maori model Paiheretia. The tutor comments that Kai was so engrossed in the process and quick to pick up the concept that as a result of the learnings she did an amazing presentation to her peers which was very well received.
This year Kai voluntarily coordinated and then participated in a Human Rights Facilitator Training workshop that was run by the Human Rights Commission for a week in February 2011. This impressive young woman works with others in a manner that is integral, approachable and has the best interests of others at heart.