Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Wellington’s inspiring young talent recognised

Chinese international student Benjamin Lin may only be 18, but he’s already achieved more than many of his peers could dream of.

As the youngest ‘authorised’ writer in his home country, he’s published two books and opened a writing school to raise money to study at Wellington High.

During these busy years he was also forced to support his family after his father passed away, but still managed to make it to New Zealand where he has exceled.

His achievements have been recognised alongside 11 other international students at Parliament today (Friday 19 October) at the third annual Wellington International Student Excellence Awards.

Benjamin received a Leadership Award for his achievements and chalks his success down to the hardships he and his family faced following his father’s death – managing his studies while financially supporting his family who nearly went bankrupt.

His father’s love for and success in writing inspired Benjamin to start essay writing at a young age.

“Thanks to my father, I loved reading and writing. My teacher at the time encouraged me to publish some of my poetry when I was around 10 in the form of a book. People really liked my work, and it gave me the confidence to keep going,” says Benjamin.

“I then wrote my second book, The East Wall, on the Chinese Revolution. The Director of the Chinese Writing Association saw my work and helped me join the association to become the youngest authorised writer in China – they changed the rules for me because normally you can’t join until you’re 18.”

In 2015, Benjamin decided to progress his education in Wellington, and settled on Wellington High School.

“I worked out I needed around $20,000 to study in Wellington, and I couldn’t ask my family for financial help. Every day I worried about how to make enough money to get to New Zealand. I didn’t have a job, or any business connections, so I decided to use my writing skills to teach other students to make money.”

Benjamin started tutoring students in writing following his own published successes, and soon found around 200 students in his classes. The popularity for his classes helped get business partners and investors on board – and soon after in 2016 a school opened in his name, which meant Benjamin had a way to get to Wellington for his studies.

“I wanted to come to Wellington because it’s a smaller, modern city where I could improve my English. In China, there is a lot of pressure to get great grades, and there are so many people in your classes – plus you are expected to learn more subjects,” says Benjamin.

“In Wellington, I’ve appreciated having more time with my teachers and working on my English.”

In the short time he’s been here, Benjamin has won the Young Enterprise Scheme’s International Ambassador Award last year, joined Victoria University’s Math Challenge in 2018 and joined a global film project, Focus on Ability International Filming Competition, to work with people in different countries and create a film promoting those who are differently-abled.

Brook Pannell, WREDA’s Education, Talent and Skills Manager, was thrilled to be on hand at the Wellington International Excellence Awards and acknowledge the achievements made by some of Wellington’s young talent.

“International students make a powerful impact in their communities, and these awards reflect the great contributions they make in Wellington,” says Brook.

“Wellington is full of study options for students with a number of high-calibre institutions. It’s also a unique, modern and compact city where international students can feel at home, gain life skills in a safe city, and make friends.”

WREDA has a goal of doubling the number of international students arriving in Wellington by 2025 through its Wellington International Student Growth Programme (WISGP). In Wellington, each international student contributes an average of $33,179 to the regional economy. This equates to around $200 million to the economy and thousands of jobs for the Wellington region.

WISGP is a multi-year initiative to attract more students, enhance the student experience and build pathways to employment in Wellington. The programme is managed by WREDA on behalf of Wellington education providers, local government and Education New Zealand.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Erebus Memorial In Parnell

Social media can be a wonderful tool for bringing people together in a common cause. It can also be a seedbed and spreader of mis-information on a community-wide scale. To which category do the protests against the siting of an Erebus memorial (to the 257 New Zealanders who died in that tragedy) in a secluded corner of a Parnell park happen to belong? IMO, it is clearly the latter, and the reasons for thinking so are explained below... More>>


National: Proposed Hate Speech Laws A Step Too Far

Reports of the Government’s proposed new hate speech laws go a step too far and risk sacrificing the freedoms New Zealanders enjoy, National’s Justice spokesperson Simon Bridges says. “The reforms are supposedly including protections to every ... More>>


Agriculture: Government To Phase Out Live Exports By Sea

The Government has announced that the export of livestock by sea will cease following a transition period of up to two years, said Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “At the heart of our decision is upholding New Zealand’s reputation for high ... More>>


Norman Gemmell: New Zealand’s New Housing Policy Is Really Just A New Tax Package — And It’s A Shambles

Norman Gemmell , Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington Economists like to talk about “optimal policy instruments” — essentially, policies that achieve their objectives more effectively or efficiently than the alternatives, and ... More>>

Claire Breen: ACC’s Policy Of Not Covering Birth Injuries Is One More Sign The System Is Overdue For Reform

Claire Breen , University of Waikato Recent media coverage of women not being able to get treatment for birth injuries highlights yet another example of gender bias in healthcare in New Zealand. More>>

Police: Police Accept Findings Of IPCA Report Into Photographs Taken At Checkpoint

Police accept the findings of a report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) relating to photographs taken at a checkpoint in Northland. On November 16, 2019, Police set up a checkpoint down the road from a fight night event in Ruakaka ... More>>


Health: Drug-Testing Law To Be Made Permanent

Interim legislation that is already proving to keep people safer from drugs will be made permanent, Health Minister Andrew Little says. More>>




InfoPages News Channels