Schools seek students from wine areas

Marlborough secondary schools are on a mission to recruit international students from wine-growing regions around the world.

Marlborough Boys' College principal Wayne Hegarty spent 10 days in Germany during the holidays visiting secondary schools and attending an education fair.

Marlborough Boys' and Girls' colleges were looking at the possibility of sister schools, specifically in wine-growing areas of Germany, Hegarty said.

"If the schools can be in a wine-growing region, it adds another dimension to promoting Marlborough," he said.

Hegarty, who visited with Study Nelson, an international education agency for German speakers, visited four schools in Wiesbaden, a city in southwest Germany. He also attended an education fair and talked at public meetings about New Zealand education.

The next step was to put proposals to the German schools interested in an exchange programme.

Schooling in Germany was a lot different to schooling in New Zealand, he said.

Students were tested when they were 10 years old and put into one of three categories: those wanting to attend university, generalised education or trades training, Hegarty said.

"Students go to school and go home - they don't do any extra curricular activities. If they do, it's part of the community."

The students Marlborough were looking for would mostly want to attend university, he said.

International students were great for the economy, but there was more to it than just the financial side.

"We're trying to align with the wine industry and promote that cultural exchange with Germany," he said.

"It's creating an opportunity that's beneficial to the region but also to our students, who would be given opportunities they wouldn't normally have."

A new project to promote the region's attributes consistently and effectively would also support education exchange opportunities, Hegarty said.

The Marlborough Story is funded and managed by the Marlborough Chamber of Commerce, the Marlborough District Council and Destination Marlborough

Both colleges were already partner schools of Jissen Gakuen in Tokyo, Japan, with both student and teacher exchanges throughout the year

Other countries would also be targeted, with the aim of 20 international students from a variety of countries attending Marlborough Boys' College within the next few years, Hegarty said.

The Marlborough Express