Student Stories

Student Stories

On this page you'll find links to the personal accounts of John Paul College life from current and past International and ESOL students.

Sam's story

The reason that I came to New Zealand is that I wanted to learn English and learn about New Zealand’s culture. I’ve been in New Zealand for two years. I felt happy of my freedom, I was happy that I can learn about New Zealand’s culture and I felt happy that the air was fresher. In the future it will be easier to talk to foreign people and you will feel that speaking English will be easier. I stayed at my aunt’s house.



Nicole's story

I came to New Zealand to learn English, and I stayed here for two years. I experienced many things, such as I could learn different cultures and could do many other sports and after school activities. English is a common language for every country so it’ll help me in the future, and you need English when you get a job or go to university. I stayed in my aunt’s house but you can learn English more faster when you stay at a Kiwi homestay.


Sharon's story

When I first arrived here at JPC (over five years ago), my English was very basic, however now I function just like any other Kiwi student. John Paul College has given me a firm foundation to pursue my studies in Engineering at the University of Auckland.

Sharon was the 2013 JPC International Captain. 



Iris's story

Highlights for me have been the school’s athletics and swimming, but the Year 13 Camp was definitely the best. Rotorua is a great place to live, with all the lakes practically on your doorstep and many outdoor activities.




Alex's story

This is my third year at JPC. I have found the students and teachers very friendly and helpful. Besides the academic programme, I have particularly enjoyed playing soccer and basketball for the school.




Thach's story

Thach, from Vietnam, studied at JPC for three years and completed his NCEA Level Three with Merit Endorsement - also having entered for a NCEA Scholarship exam in Economics. In 2014, he enrolled at Massey University in Auckland, studying a Bachelor of Business Studies - majoring in Management.




Josefina's story

Chilean Josefina says of her time at JPC: ‘Students are very friendly and there is a lot that one can do both at the school and in the Rotorua region. I enjoy riding my bike not only to school but also around the city. My English has improved a lot since I arrived. It helps to learn the language by taking part in all the activities.’



Leonie's story

I so enjoy it at JPC – all my subjects and all the learning here is very challenging – especially drama. My homestay family is amazing and I am lucky that they give me the opportunity to ride horses almost every day.

Watch Leonie's farewell speech at her final JPC assembly.



Hiroki's story

I chose to come to John Paul College because of its excellence in academics as well as sport. I am proud to be part of the First 15 Rugby team and enjoy the workouts in JPC’s well-equipped fitness gym.