Student Stories

Our international students all have different reasons for choosing New Zealand and when they leave they have some amazing stories to tell. Here are some of the things they say about their experiences at Rangitoto College, living on the North Shore of Auckland, and travelling around New Zealand.

Grace Guo - China


I have been a student at Rangitoto College since year 9, so I can confidently say this is a place that offers me a better education and provides me with a variety of future choices. Starting from year 12, I am also a member of our awesome IB crew. This makes my life more substantial as one of the core of IB requirements—CAS, pushes me to step out of my comfort zone. The IB is a rigorous course which is well-known worldwide. More importantly, because of the relatively small number of IB students in my year group, everyone gets to know each other quite well, and this is a huge difference compared with normal classes. Overall, studying the IB at Rangitoto College has been very rewarding. I feel I am becoming more of an all-rounder due to the broad academic programme the IB offers.


我从9年级开始就进入了Rangitoto College学习,所以我可以毫不犹豫的说是这所学校给予了我许多不同的未来道路的选择。从12年级开始,我选择了这所高中试运行的IB而非常规的NCEA因为我觉得IB可以使我走出自己的小圈子,去尝试以前我所从未尝试过的事情。虽然目前仍任重而道远,但是我相信吃得苦中苦,方为人上人。一分耕耘有时候并不一定能换来一分收获,但若是毫不努力,就更不可能学有所成。所以总而言之,学习IB使我成为了一个多元化发展的人。

Dan Safka - Czech Republic

13 (2010)

I spent a wonderful year at Rangitoto College in 2010. I have enjoyed learning Maths and Sciences at Rangitoto, as well as I was a keen member of the Tramping Club. After I left Rangitoto, I have completed a Mathematics B.A. at the University of Cambridge, followed by a Master's in Systems Biology.

After my graduation in June 2015, I have carried out research projects in Plant Science. The areas of interest have spanned Plant Epidemiology and most recently Forest Carbon Mapping in Wellington Region, which brought me back to New Zealand.

Jessie Oh - Korea


Hello, my name is Jessie Oh. I am an international student from South Korea and I go to Rangitoto College as a year 9 student (I will be year 10 very soon!). I would like to talk about how my first year at Rangitoto had been. Firstly, Rangitoto found me a great host family to live in, one that I could always get help from and talk comfortably with. They would always welcome me after school and would help me with my schoolwork.

I was kind of scared and nervous of what a college might bring me during my first week, but the teachers and the students in my classes (they later became my friends, I had my ups and downs with them but in the end we always support each other) helped me to settle well in Rangitoto. The teachers make education fun and interesting, which leads to students being able to understand the subjects they learn in depth. They also makes sure that no student misses out on fun school work, allowing students who are not confident with their English to be included in the fun.  

There are many things at Rangitoto College that makes it stand out from other colleges, one of them are the numerous activities / clubs that you could join. Some of them are about sports, cultures and performing arts, but there are other topics that you could be interested in. I love playing my violin and I was worried that I might have to stop playing my instrument once I come to New Zealand, but it turned out that the school can provide music tuitions for many instruments, and has orchestras or band groups of different genres that you could be a part of. 

When I first came to Rangitoto College my English was not that good, but thanks to my amazing English teacher and my friends, at the end of year 9 I was able to achieve my goals of being the 1st of class in English. This was a big improvement for me and I am very grateful to my teacher for teaching me so well. I am planning to do more activities in Rangitoto next year, such as trying out for the violin auditions for the orchestra and starting to learn to play badminton. I think coming to Rangitoto College was the best choice I ever made because there is always something to look forward to in the future. 


저는 랑기토토 컬리지 9학년에 재학 중인 오예인(Jessie OH) 이에요. 

지금부터 제가 학교에서 보낸 첫 해에 대해서 이야기를 해보려고 해요.

먼저 학교에서는 제가 편안하게 지낼 수 있는 좋은 홈스테이를 연결시켜주었어요. 저희 홈스테이 가족은 제가 학교 수업이 끝나고 집으로 올 때면 늘 반갑게 맞아주시고, 때때로 제가 숙제하는 것을 도와주시기도 했어요.

학교에 등교한 첫 주는 걱정도 되고 두렵기도 했어요. 하지만 제가 듣는 각각의 수업에서 선생님들과 학생들은 제가 학교에 잘 적응할 수 있도록 많은 도움을 주었어요. 처음에는 낯설기만 하던 학생들이었는데 지금은 마음을 나눌 수 있는 친한 친구들이 되었어요.

선생님들의 수업들은 흥미진진해서 학생들이 수업 내용에 대해서 깊이 있게 이해할 수 있었어요. 그리고 또 선생님들은 수업 중에 진행되는 재밌는 활동들 중에도 반 친구 중 누구도 소외되지 않게 이끌어주셨어요. 심지어 그 친구가 수업 중의 활동을 이해할 수 없을 정도로 영어를 잘 못 해도 함께 수업을 즐길 수 있도록 배려해주셨어요.

또한 학교에는 각양각색의 문화와 관련된 것들이나 예술, 스포츠 그 외에도 재밌을 만한 엄청나게 다양한 동아리가 있어요.

제 경우에는 한국에 있을 때 바이올린 연주하는 것을 좋아했는데 뉴질랜드로 유학을 올 때 제가 좋아하는 바이올린을 계속 배우고 연주할 수 있을까 걱정이 되었어요. 그런데 제 걱정과는 달리 학교에서는 학생이 원하면 다양한 악기들을 가르쳐주는 수업들도 있었어요. 자신이 원한다면 오케스트라나 밴드 같은 음악활동도 가입 할 수 있어요.

제가 학교에 처음 왔을 때에는 영어 실력이 그렇게 좋았다고는 할 수 없었어요. 그러나 지금은 감사하게도 너무나 훌륭한 영어 선생님과 학교 친구들의 도움으로 9학년 마지막 학기에 영어 과목에서 반 1등을 하게 되었어요. 이렇게 향상될 수 있었던 것은 즐겁고 자상하게 가르쳐주신 선생님들 덕분이라고 생각해요.

요즘 저는 내년에 학교에서 어떤 활동을 할까 생각중이예요. 우선은 오케스트라의 바이올린 오디션을 볼 거고, 배드민턴 클럽에도 가입할 생각이에요.

랑이토토 늘 무슨 재밌는 일이 있을까 기대하는 즐거움이 있기 때문에 저는 랑이토토 컬리지에 오기를 정말 잘한 것 같아요.

Carolina Bammert - Germany

13 (2010)

When I came to Rangitoto College I was amazed by the variety of subjects that I could choose from. It was very different to the system in Germany, my home country. At Rangitoto I got quite inspired by one of the subjects called Textiles Technology (Fashion & Design), where I learned a lot about how to design and sew clothing. Since then I have gained my Bachelor of Science (International Fashion and Management) from the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute. The basics that I learned during the year at Rangitoto have supported me in understanding the construction of clothing, which helped a lot even though I have mainly concentrated on the managerial and economic part of the textile and fashion industry within my studies. I have also interned at Adidas as a product developer and I was able to write my Bachelor thesis for them on a very innovative topic on textiles.

Currently I am studying towards my Masters in Fashion Enterprise Creation where I am setting up my own business. Around the world people are becoming more concerned about the sun damaging their skin, causing skin ageing and skin cancer. I am hoping to help address this problem by preparing to start my own brand that sells fashionable UV protective clothing. 

Als ich auf das Rangitoto College kam, war ich total fasziniert davon, dass es unglaublich viele verschiedene Unterrichtsfächer gibt, die ich wählen konnte. Das war definitiv etwas anderes im Vergleich zum deutschen Schulsystem. Am Rangitoto College hat mich das Fach Textiles Technology (Fashion & Design) inspiriert. Dort habe ich gelernt, wie man Kleidung designed und näht. Seitdem habe ich meinen Bachelor of Science (International Fashion and Management) an der Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences am Amsterdam Fashion Institute absolviert. Die Grundlagen, die ich während meines einjährigen Aufenthaltes am Rangitoto College lernen konnte, haben mir geholfen zu verstehen, wie Kleidung konstruiert wird. Das hat mir bei meinem Studium auch geholfen, obwohl ich mich mehr auf das Management und das Wirtschaftliche der Textil und Mode Industrie fokussiert habe. Ich habe ein Praktikum bei Adidas in der Produktentwicklung absolviert und hatte auch die Chance, meine Bachelor Arbeit für Adidas über ein hoch innovatives Thema zu Textilen zu schreiben.

Derzeit bin ich dabei, meinen Master in Fashion Enterprise Creation zu machen. Dabei werde ich meine eigene Firma gründen. Auf der ganzen Welt gibt es Menschen, die sich immer mehr damit auseinandersetzen, dass die Sonne unserer Haut Schaden zufügt in Form von Hautalterung oder auch Hautkrebs. Ich hoffe dieses Problem mit dieser eigenen Firma, die modische Kleidung mit UV Schutz verkauft, in Angriff nehmen zu können.

Sum Yee Ling - Hong Kong

13 (2012)

Kia Ora! My name is Sum Yee and I am from Hong Kong. I came to New Zealand in 2010 as a Year 11 student and studied at Rangitoto College for my last three years of school, leaving in 2012.

Looking back at my time at Rangi, I have loved every single minute of school, made some of my best memories in life. My English was not fluent when I first came to New Zealand but people were all willing to help and I realized that language barrier is not a big issue at all. Everyone at school is really welcoming and friendly so you will never feel lonely. Additionally, I have made lifelong friendships here at Rangi. Rangi is the largest school in New Zealand with endless exciting and challenging opportunities and activities happening every day. You get to make new friends every day and expand your social circle during your time at Rangi. I loved the hustle and bustle around me every day especially during morning tea and lunch time - you could be meeting friends who are new to New Zealand, trying to get that last potato top pie at the bottom tuck shop, trying to protect your sandwiches being eaten by the seagulls or trying to find a spot in A block with your huge group of friends during winter time.

Furthermore, Rangi has changed my opinion about school, student life and education. School life in Hong Kong is so different to New Zealand because academic subjects are always the most important out of all. Subjects like Art, PE or Graphics are seen as not as important as Chinese, English and Mathematics because people think that studying these subjects won’t help you earn good money or get a job in the future. Every single subject is equally important at Rangi, and we were encouraged to think outside the box and explore topics out of the syllabus. The diversity of subjects enabled us to explore as many options as possible before moving on to our next stage of life. I chose tourism as one of my option in Year 12 and 13, a subject I had never thought of studying before coming to New Zealand. There is also many different activities for us to join. Whether you are an introvert or extrovert, an absolute beginner or an expert, there is something for you to join. While I was there, I had the chance to participate as both back stage and dancer in Stage Challenge, which is a dance, drama and design competition for all schools in New Zealand. Rangi has influenced me to step out of my comfort zone and explore new opportunities and things, including skydiving in Queenstown. I have become more outgoing and adventurous after studying at Rangi.

After finishing high school, I completed a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Sydney before doing my Master of Heritage Conservation (Built Heritage) at the University of Auckland. It is exciting to be the first person to earn this Masters and I am hoping to use my skills to play an on-going role in heritage conservation here in New Zealand.

Last but not least, the homestay office at Rangi made the best match for me. Apart from my biological family, my host family, the Barry’s family, is now my other family. They treated me like their real daughter and sister and they are one of the reasons why I love New Zealand so much and had my best time of life here! I never had homesickness when I was in New Zealand thanks to them and we made heaps of amazing memories together. A big shout out to the Barry for all their support and love and I am really grateful to have them in my life.

Thank you my parents, host family and everyone at Rangi and New Zealand for giving me the opportunities and shaping who I am today. I would highly and 120% truly recommend Rangi to people who are considering studying abroad to create the most amazing and sweet as memories and experience!


我的名字叫林琛怡,在2010年由香港來到紐西蘭Rangitoto學院讀 11年班,至2012年完成我的中學課程。


在Rangi,每個科目同樣重要,老師鼓勵我們跳出框框去思考,鼓勵我們去探索新事物,從探索中尋找答案,因而我選讀旅遊科,在來紐西蘭之前我從來沒想過有這門課程, 旅遊科涉足之廣泛令我大開眼界,學習令我樂在其中;我更有機會參加全國校際舞蹈賽,還有戲劇和設計比賽,Rangi不僅改變了我的人生觀,也影響了我對教育的看法,更令我變得更外向和富探索精神。


最後,一定要提到的是我的寄宿家庭 Barry’s family,除了香港外,Barry’s family是我的另一個家,他們待我如親生女兒一樣,我一直沒有講感謝之言,在這裡也要說句: Barry’s family,我愛你們。


Minju (Michelle) Kim - Korea


Hello! My name is Minju and I am a Korean international student here at Rangitoto College. I started attending Rangitoto last year and was offered a range of different subjects that have high quality content and are taught by exceptional teachers. All of these different subjects can help you carve your own career pathway, in all sorts of industries from healthcare to retail. Some of my favourite subjects so far include Science and French because I learn something new everyday.

Not only are students offered a variety of subjects to study at school, but they are also offered a variety of extracurricular activities to participate in. These activities gave me many opportunities to try new things and meet new people with the same interests. One of the activities I tried at Rangitoto was archery, a sport that I had never done before. Even though I started as a beginner, I learnt quickly and now, I am training to enter my first competition. I also joined the debating club where I have learnt many valuable analytical skills and gained a lot of experience in public speaking. What I love about Rangitoto is that you can gain all of these skills while having fun with others. So far, during my time at Rangitoto College, I have met many new friends and teachers who all support me and constantly encourage me to go beyond my comfort zone. I am so grateful to be able to attend such a prestigious school that prioritizes their students.

안녕하세요! 저는 랑기토토학교에서 공부하고 있는 김민주입니다. 저는 작년부터 랑기토토에 재학 중입니다. 저의 학교는 좋은 선생님들이 수준 높은 다양한 과목들을 가르치시고 계시며, 이 모든 과목들이 자신의 미래를 설계 하는데 많은 도움을 얻을 수 있을 것 입니다. 제가 좋아하는 과목은 과학과 프랑스어 입니다. 매일 매일 새로운 것을 알아가는 것이 즐겁습니다. 또한 정규과목 외에 다양한 과외 활동을 제공하고 있습니다. 이것은 저한테 새로운 것을 해볼 기회를 주고 같은 관심사를 가진 많은 친구들을 만날수 있었습니다. 저는 학교 스포츠 활동중 한번도 해보지 않은 양궁을 시도했습니다. 처음에는 초급자로 시작했지만, 지금은 첫 대회에 참가하기 위해 열심히 연습 중입니다. 그리고 작년에는 학교 치어리딩 에서 활동 했었습니다.

또한 디베이팅 클럽에도 가입해서 논리적인 사고력과 발표력등 많은 경험을 쌓았습니다. 저는 랑기토토에서는 많은 친구들을 사귀게 되었으며 선생님들께서도 항상 제가 도전할수있도록 많은 지원을 해 주시고 격려해 주십니다. 저는 학생들에게 우선순위를 부여하는 유명한 랑기토토학교에 다닐수 있어서 감사합니다.

Charlie Wang - China


Looking back at my time at Rangitoto College, I can say it without a doubt that Rangitoto College has made me a better person!

Academically, Rangitoto pushes me to pursue different challenging courses to extend my knowledge beyond textbooks, but it also teaches me how to use this applied knowledge in real life situations. All my teachers throughout high school are different in personalities and teaching styles, but every single one of them has been caring along the way in creating a supportive and engaging learning environment for the students. I appreciate their efforts in establishing Rangitoto as one of the best high schools not only in Auckland but New Zealand.

Extracurricularly, Rangitoto College has given me the opportunity to choose anything and everything. It gives me the platform to extend and grow in a personal, intellectual and physical level through its enjoyable music programs, social and competitive sports teams and all other cultural groups from Robotics to Model United Nations.

Socially, I have made great friends who not only give me the support I need along the way, but they are also my role models. We have been challenging each other and pushing each other along the way throughout our high school lives. The bonds we have made can only be strengthened by the scale and the size of the school, as everyone is talented and extraordinary in different ways. I have been learning something new and useful from everyone every day.

Overall, my high school experience is a nine out of ten. To make it a ten out of ten, I only wish I can stay here a bit longer as it is my home which offers me comfort and hope in the most memorable four years of my life.


在我在Rangitoto College的四年当中,这所高中把我变得更加完美。

在学习方面,Rangitoto College督促着我在不断学习新知识的同时,挺高自己,而且把我的知识运用到生活中。我高中生涯中的每一个老师,虽然教学风格和个性各有不同, 不过他们都给我建立了一个温馨的学习空间。我非常感谢他们的尽头和努力,他们对学生的热爱已经把Rangitoto College变成了不仅仅是在奥克兰,而是在新西兰都是数一数二的学校。

在课外活动方面,Rangitoto College让我去尝试和选择任何我想做的事情。通过各式各样的体育和音乐项目,我可以追求自己的喜好,培养自己的才能。



Alain Araña Oiarbide - Spain


Before coming here I expected that two month would be a long time and that it would be hard to spend so much time away from home. However, I was completely wrong and I have enjoyed every minute of my time in New Zealand. I’m impressed about the amount of International Students that are at Rangitoto College, which helps you make friends because they are in the same situation as you. You also have the opportunity to do a large variety of sports, which is a good way of making Kiwi friends. As well as that, my homestay family makes me feel like I’m at my own home. I have visited some incredible places outside of Auckland, such as Rotorua, Waitomo… places that you will never forget and you won’t find anywhere else. Overall, it has been an amazing experience and I would like to stay longer. So if you are thinking of coming to NZ, don’t hesitate to take advantage of the opportunity!

Zelanda Berrira etorri baino lehen bi hilabete luze igaroko zirela uste nuen eta zaila egingo zitzaidala etxetik hurrun egotea. Hala ere, guztiz oker nengoen eta bidaia guztia gozatu dut hasieratik bukaerara. Harrituta nago Rangitoton dauden ikasle internazional mordoarekin. Alde batetik asko laguntzen du lagunak egiteko orduan, zure egoera berdinean daude eta. Gainera, kirol tarde batean egoteko aukera ugari daude, bertako lagunak egiteko aukera ezin hobea. Horrez gain, nire familiak etxean nagoen bezala sentiarazten nau. Bestalde, leku ugari bisitatzeko aukera izan dut, Rotorua eta Waitomo adibidez, inoiz ahaztuko eta inon aurkituko ez dituzun lekuak. Orokorrean, izugarrizko esperientzia izan da eta gustatuko litzaidake denbora gehiago egotea bertan. Horrelako bidaiaren bat egiteko aukera baduzu ez pentsatu bi aldiz eta gozatu.

Antes de venir a Nueva Zelanda creía que dos meses se me iban a hacer largos y que iba a echar de menos mi casa. Sin embargo, estaba equivocado y he disfrutado cada minuto que he vivido aquí. Estoy impresionado de la  cantidad de estudiantes internacionales que están en Rangitoto y de una manera te ayuda a hacer amigos porque están en la misma situación que tu. Además, tienes la oportunidad de hacer innumerables deportes, con el cual puedes hacer amigos del país. Igualmente, mi familia me hace estar como en casa. He visitado lugares increíbles como Rotorua y Waitomo sitios que nunca olvidaras y que en ninguna otra parte encontraras. En conjunto, ha sido una experiencia asombrosa que nunca olvidaré y me encantaría poder quedarme más.   


Ana, Alain's mother

Thank you very much for giving this opportunity to Alain!!!! He has had an unforgettable and amazing experience in New Zealand, and he has felt very welcome at Rangitoto and in his host family. We miss him so much, but it's true that New Zealand has something special, magical, and we understand why Alain wants to stay there longer!! Thank you very much again, and maybe one day we will have the chance to visit Rangitoto and see the place where Alain has been so happy!!! 

Meg Rinaldi - Italy


What to say about my host family… simply amazing! At the beginning, when I received the information about it, I wasn't very happy because I’m not really keen on kids, but since the first day I got there, they’ve been adorable and very cute. I perfectly remember the first week: every day, before going to bed, all of the three children were hugging me, making me feel like their older sister and part of this new family.

Katie, the mother, has always been very kind and helpful even when I made some mistakes, like forgetting the freezer door opened ahahah. I really loved playing and talking with my three host brothers and I’ll never forget them, also because the oldest promised to come and see me in Italy when he is older. I can consider myself very lucky because I found such an amazing family to stay this three amazing months… my only regret is that I should have stayed longer! 


Cosa dire della mia host family…semplicemente fantastica! All’inizio, quando ho ricevuto tutte le informazioni riguardo la famiglia, non ero molto entusiasta, visto che non amo particolarmente i bambini piccoli, ma fin dal primo giorno in cui sono arrivata sono stati tutti molto carini e tenerissimi. Ricordo perfettamente la prima settimana: ogni giorno, prima di andare  a dormire, tutti e tre i bambini venivano ad abbracciarmi per darmi la buonanotte, facendomi sentire come se fossi loro sorella e parte di questa nuova famiglia.

Katie, la mamma, è sempre stata molto gentile e disponibile, anche quando facevo degli errori, come dimenticarmi la porta del freezer aperta ahahaha. Ho davvero amato giocare e parlare con i mie tre host brothers e non mi dimenticherò mai di loro, anche perché il piu grande mi ha promesso che, appena sarà grande abbastanza, verrà a trovarmi in Italia.  Non posso che considerarmi fortunata poiché ho trovato una famiglia meravigliosa in cui stare in questi tre fantastici mesi… il mio unico rimorso è di non essere stata di più!


Franca Fuenzalida - Chile


To go for an exchange to New Zealand  was the best decision I have ever made in my life, I learned to value each minute because the three months that I spent there passed in two shakes. Rangi opened me doors to a world that I never thought it existed, offering a variety of subjects that not even half of them are in my school in Chile; dance, cooking and PE were my favourite! I went to different tours and I highly recommend going to Piha (camping and surfing) and going bungy jumping in Taupo, it's something you really need to do. Most people before deciding to go for an exchange think that they will miss their family and friends of their origin country, but that is not a problem anymore when you start meeting locals and internationals because most internationals are in the same situation as you and they start being part of your family in New Zealand and they support each other. Also, I met many "kiwis" or locals, who are amazing, they are very friendly and interested in meeting internationals! If I have the opportunity to go again I would go without thinking about it, all in New Zealand is amazing, the people, culture, landscapes and much more. Everyone have doubts before deciding to go for an exchange, I also had them but after your first week in Auckland you don't even want to think that you will have to go back to your origin country in the future! It is an amazing experience, I recommend it so much and nothing is enough to describe my experience, you just have to encourage yourself, decide to go and live your own experience! Thanks for everything Rangi!

Irme de intercambio a Nueva Zelanda es la mejor decisión que he hecho en mi vida, aprendí a valorar cada minuto porque los tres meses que fui pasaron volando. Rangi me abrió las puertas a un mundo que no conocía, una variedad de clases que ni la mitad están en mi colegio de Chile; danza, cocina y PE me encantaron! En Rangi ofrecen tours muy buenos, recomiendo mucho ir a Piha (acampar y surfear) e ir a saltar en bungy en Taupo, es una experiencia que hay que vivirla.Lo que todos se plantean antes de decidir si ir de intercambio o no es si vas extrañar a tu familia y amigos de tu país de origen pero esto no fue un tema una vez allá porque conocí a muchos internacionales (europeos, latinos y hasta de países que ni siquera sabía que existían) que estaban en la misma situación que yo y pasaron a formar parte de mi familia en Nueva Zelanda. También conocí a muchos locales o "kiwis", son muy amistosos, abiertos a conocer internacionales y buenos amigos! Si tuviera la oportunidad de volver, volvería ahora mismo sin pensarlo, Todo en Nueva Zelanda es muy lindo, las personas, cultura, paisajes y mucho más.Todos tienen sus dudas antes de decidir si ir de intercambio o no, yo también las tuve pero estaban de sobra porque una vez que partes tu vida en Auckland no quieres ni pensar en el día en que tengas que volver a tu país de origen! Es una experiencia muy buena, la recomiendo demasiado y nada es suficiente para describir lo que fue, solo queda tomar la decisión de ir y vivir la experiencia! Gracias por todo Rangi!