Welcome to ESOL

At St Mary's we host up to a maximum of fifteen students from around the world.

Here's a few thoughts from them about studying and living in Taranaki.

"I like taking a break in the weekend at the hostel.

It's peaceful and fun."

Thawalkorn - Thailand



"I like ESOL class because I enjoy studying English with

 international students and our teacher is so kind."

Yuki - Osaka, Japan



"I Like the shorter school day compared to home"

Jeong min - Korea



I am 13 years old and I have been living in New Zealand for 2 years. My family and I moved to New Zealand when I was 11 years old. My dad has siblings; he is the youngest while my mum has only 1 sister. Mum is the eldest.

 I like hanging out with my friends and family. I also like writing, watching movies, drawing, and riding my bike.

New Zealand has the best scenery. I like how some of the mountains have snow on the top of them, and when it’s time for the sunset you will see a lot of colour in the sky.

St Mary’s is very peaceful. The environment is really friendly; I made a lot of friends. My favourite subject is ESOL because we do fun activities.

Christina - Philippines


What I like about New Zealand is its quietness. I think New Zealand is such a quiet place that I can study well. There is not as much noise as in Hong Kong, so I can be more focused when I study. After school I usually go to the library, read lots of English books and do my homework. Once I have finished, I just have to walk a few minutes back to the Hostel so it saves me lots of time.

Janice - Hong Kong


I have joined the Orchestra at St Mary’s. The orchestra is small but our songs are not so difficult. So even if students cannot play their instrument very well, you can still join the orchestra. Also, the school library system is nice. Sometimes the school doesn’t have some books that I want. But we have a relationship with the National Library. So, they provide books to us once a week.

In New Zealand, the people are nice and kind. Also, the landscape is beautiful and much quieter and more peaceful than Korea. On the weekend, we have weekend activities for full boarders and the Activities’ Director is nice. So she is called ‘Mum’ by the full boarders. I love New Zealand’s peace and I enjoy reading books in peace and quiet.

Jeong min - Korea


I’m 16 years old and I’m in Year 10.My hobby is playing the piano. I take music lessons. I played the piano for the New Girls concert. I’m in Ensemble and I play the trombone. We went to a New Plymouth school for Orchestra Day. It was really fun. I like school because my friends are really kind to me and they are so funny. I like the clock tower in Stratford and Mt. Taranaki. The top of Mt. Taranaki is covered in snow in winter time. It is beautiful. So, I like school and Stratford.

Kaho - Japan


I come from Osaka, Japan. There are my parents and me in my family. I’m interested in dancing, singing and English. I’m in the choir and Kapa Haka which is a Maori activity group at SMS. I’m also in the hip-hop class after school. I take singing lessons at SMS. I really like my kiwi friends, learning English from them and my host family. St. Mary’s is such an awesome school. I enjoy it all the time. There are some differences between New Zealand and Japan. New Zealand is clean and New Zealanders are friendly. I will have a good time in the second half of the year. 

Makoto - Japan