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Outside In project brings people together'

‘Outside In project brings students and community together’

Education New Zealand: Media Release 17/06/2005

‘The ‘Outside In’ community focus initiative for international students is an important step forward in bringing students and community closer together’ says Stuart Boag, Communication Director for Education New Zealand.

‘It will bring together international students and the community in which they live via a range of activities, events and initiatives over a five month period. This will not only bring about a greater awareness and understanding, but will be both rewarding and a lot of fun for everyone involved!’

The Education New Zealand led, industry supported ‘Outside In’ project has been developed in response to research that shows that whilst international students usually achieve their education objectives in New Zealand, they have varying results when it comes to integrating with the communities that they find themselves living in.

On the other side of the coin, many New Zealanders have very little knowledge of the scale and scope of international student activity in New Zealand, and on the benefits that the whole community can gain from their presence.

‘International students the world over face difficulties with getting closer to the local people’ says Stuart Boag. ‘New Zealand has a well deserved reputation as a friendly country, but many students thirst for a more ‘kiwi’ dimension to their time here. This project is all about raising awareness and breaking down barriers on both sides.’

‘International education is also a quiet achiever in terms of its importance to the New Zealand economy’ says Stuart Boag. ‘Ask the average Kiwi which of boat-building, wine production, wool growing or international education is the biggest contributor to our exports, and very few would pick international education.

Yet New Zealand’s foreign exchange income from international education is greater than the other three products combined. We want New Zealanders to understand a little more about why students come here, and to look out for them and enjoy their company whilst they are here. We want students that choose New Zealand to go home with a qualification in their pocket and a smile on their dial! In an industry that is dependent on word of mouth recommendations, the overall experience is what counts’

The ‘Outside In’ project is a regional programme based in the Manawatu. It opens in Palmerston North on Saturday June 18th, and continues through to November.


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