COLC has had a group of 15 students and 2 tour leaders, here for the past month. This has been a wonderful opportunity for them to share their culture with us while they have improved their English, and not only learned about New Zealand, but about all the other countries that our students come from. They really got involved in school life and in the many environmental projects that we are running. In this photo they joined other COLC students to help remove ice plant from the Taputapuatia Spit, on Buffalo Beach.
Our beloved old building, the home of COLC for the past 25 years is going to be sold. Unfortunately we have never owned the building, and so this decision is out of our hands. We hope that the new owner will negotiate a new lease for us, at least for a while longer so that we can find a new home for the school for the future.
So if you happen to see an advertisement online or somewhere else, that is what it is about. It is the building that is on the market rather than the school.
Jun is a young Korean guy who recently spent more than six months at COLC. He came as a quiet and shy young man with only a little English, but he really grew in confidence while he was here. As his English improved his willingness to talk to other students and mix with other cultures also improved and he grew into a much happier and confident person. Often when students have a longer stay with us, the greatest change we see is the growth in the person, and in Jun's case this was so pleasing for everybody.
This is what he told me about COLC and about his life back in Korea now.
"I had a lot of conversations with other students in COLC. That is one of the reasons why I have improved my English so fast, and then I had global friends, and I was able to share my country's culture with teachers and students."
"And I can say that I have become outgoing. Frankly speaking, I don't go home very often. That is the best change because I was very quiet before I went to NZ"
Jun is a great example of a young person who has taken on a huge challenge and used it to improve his life and his job prospects. Learning English in New Zealand was a great choice for him.
Even though it is winter time, the step building on the Waitaia Loop Track continues. For those of you who know the track, this is the steep section just below the fork in the track, and we hope to have this piece finished before too long. All the old steps have to come out and when these ones are done there are plenty more for us to work on, further along the track.
Students who are doing English plus Environment will get the opportunity to help us with this and many other environment projects that the school has running. Winter is planting time so we have lots of plants coming out of our nursery that need to be planted back into the environment. These include kauri, totara and other native plants. Then as spring comes along there will be lots of work to do in the nursery preparing seedlings and cuttings for the new season.
This course is a great way to combine English learning with a love of the outdoors, and lets you really make a difference to the NZ environment while you are here.
This article was written by Jakkrid, one of our Thai students, and it is his own account of the trip we all did together last week. The Windows Walk is through an historic gold mining area, about one and a half hours from Whitianga.
It is a great achievement to be able to produce work like this in another language, and Jakkrid can be very proud of his effort.