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A group of Chinese students who spent two weeks at NorthTec on an exchange programme have said a fond farewell to New Zealand.
The 12 students, all studying arts at the Haikou University of Economics, were sent on their way with a ceremony at NorthTec’s Geoff Wilson Gallery.
NorthTec Chief Executive, Mark Ewen, and Whangarei Mayor, Sheryl Mai, were joined by tutors from NorthTec’s applied and Māori arts programmes, as well as students from those programmes.
The visit by the Chinese students followed a two-week trip to Haikou undertaken by a group of mixed NorthTec arts students.
During their visit, the Chinese students took classes alongside their New Zealand counterparts, and visited local galleries and studios. They also enjoyed a trip to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, spent a night on the NorthTec marae and experienced some of Northland’s finest beaches.
Mayor Mai told the group: “I have been to your country and it is beautiful. I am hopeful that you will go home to Haikou and say ‘We have been to Whangarei and it is beautiful’.
“When you come from a country like China to New Zealand you are improving your language skills, experiencing different cultures and sharing your culture with us.”
Mark Ewen said he had been told some of the students had enjoyed their visit so much that they did not want to go home. He thanked the NorthTec staff and students who had made their trip so enjoyable and had made the visitors feel so welcome.
The Chinese students expressed their gratitude for the warm welcome and great support they had experienced. As well as the artists they had met, they particularly enjoyed experiencing the Northland scenery and learning about New Zealand’s Māori culture.
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