Wellington International Student Excellence Awards

The fifth Wellington International Student Excellence Awards were held at the Michael Fowler Centre on 12 November 2020

S excellence awards on stage

Organised by WellingtonNZ, the awards recognised high-achieving international students in the Wellington region who excelled academically, in the arts, sport, community or online. Twenty-eight international students were recognised at the event which was attended by WellingtonNZ Chief Executive John Allen, Wellington Mayor Andy Foster and ambassadors from various Wellington-based embassies.

Evans Bay Intermediate student Lingxi Zhang

Lingxi Zhang was one of five academic category winners for her remarkable leap on the education spectrum.

On her arrival here from China in February, she had no understanding of the New Zealand school system, no spoken English, no English writing ability and was reading at an age six years below her own.

After using computer programmes and daily zoom sessions to work on her English, as well as maths and other classroom activities, her reading levels have risen 13 levels. She can now complete all classroom written work and express her own ideas in class.

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Zeheng Zhao from Kelburn Normal School

Zeheng Zhao won one of the three creativity awards.

He not only wrote a script for a play with his classmates but was cast in the play as two different characters, delivered his lines and performed live music in every scene. The music was his original composition and played with a purerehua and a tumutumu.

Wellington High School’s Shoko Ueshima

Shoko Ueshima took out one of the two sports awards.

The 17-year-old from Japan signed up for three sports she had never played on the day she arrived at school in February.

A few months later she paddled the fastest time in the school dragon boating competition with her team – out paddling every school including the boys-only school – made the senior A netball team which won its grade and nailed a spot in the senior girls’ basketball team

Massey University's Julian Tanaka

Massey University international student and Wellington Students’ Association student advocate Julian Tanaka was recognised for contributions to his community.

When Covid-19 hit and many domestic and international students lost their jobs or had families losing income, Julian successfully established a food bank and a wellness breakfast programme to ensure students didn’t go hungry.

He also secured extra funding from Education NZ to support international students and administered more than 100 hardship and food grants to students in need.

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UP Education's Andrianne Jing Yi Wong

Andrianne Jing Yi Wong received the online community accolade – introduced this year as restrictions on international and domestic travel moved studies online.

She was due to start her studies at UP Education’s Wellington campus in April but instead joined online from Malaysia and became the first student to graduate from its foundation programme entirely as an online student.

For a full list of winners:

Academic: Lingxi Zhang (Evans Bay Intermediate), Yifan Jiang (Samuel Marsden Collegiate School), Cici Wang (Wellington Girls' College), Bryan Tarlowski (Victoria University of Wellington), Soheil Mohseni (Victoria University of Wellington)

Creative: Zeheng Zhao (Kelburn Normal School), Di Bao (Wellington Girls' College), Bungkung Hout (Victoria University of Wellington)

Sport: Ho Lui Yick (Scotts College), Shoko Ueshima (Wellington High School)

Community engagement: Haruta Chikamune (Wellington College), Ken Matthew Mirasol Villamin (Wellington Institute of Technology - WelTec and Whitireia), Julian Tanaka (Massey University)

Community resilience: Nathirah Saiful Bahri (Victoria University of Wellington)

Leadership: Shin Kosaka (Wellington College), Kamilla Korokhova (WelTec and Whitireia New Zealand)

Online: Andrianne Jing Yi Wong (UP Education)

Domestic: Alexandra Wilson (St Catherine's College), Eden Ee (Victoria University of Wellington)

Alumni: Surya Teja Sarvepalli (Massey University), Vikas Tyagi (Victoria University of Wellington)

Workplace: Integration Works, Wellington University International at Victoria University of Wellington

Highly commended: Florence Nguyen (Aotea College - academic excellence), Harisu Abdullahi (Victoria University of Wellington - academic excellence), Gayan Edirisinghe Pathiranage (Victoria University of Wellington - community engagement), Amber Wong (Wellington Girls' College - creativity), Lingyue Jiang (Wellington Girls' College - creativity).

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