What Students Say

William Li - China

When William started studying Year 11 at Henderson High in 2019, he was pleased to find he could choose subjects not available at his previous school in China. He enjoys the practical aspects of Product Technology, Science, and Food Technology and says the teachers give him lots of help in class.

He is working hard on his English and attends specialist classes every day to improve his vocabulary and grammar. He also finds it helpful to talk with International Student Prefect, David.

Studying in New Zealand has given him a chance to practice his spoken English everyday. William’s homestay family treat him like one of the family and he enjoys sharing their favourite dinners with them.

William says he appreciates the clean air and fresh environment of New Zealand, and his advice to any new student is to work hard learning English.



Sakura Kataoka - Japan

Sakura has been attending Henderson High School since 2017 and is really interested in learning about the different cultures that are within the school.

She has enjoyed making New Zealand friends and learning new languages. She feels that her experience with other cultures will be helpful for her understanding of people from different backgrounds in the future.

Sakura loves learning and challenging herself and in 2019 she was selected as an International Student Prefect. She finds that talking to teachers and friends to helps overcome any questions about education.

Sakura is performing well and has already passed NCEA Levels One and Two and has Level Three success firmly in sight. After finishing high school, Sakura plans to attend university in Japan to continue her studies and develop her interest in new languages.




Sora Ohhara - Japan

Sora is three months into her two years of study at Henderson High School and has enjoyed the friendly welcome by other students here.

Sora enjoys staying with her homestay family and has a short bus ride to school.

She recently travelled with her homestay family to Rotorua, one of New Zealands top tourist destinations famous for its geothermal mud pools and geysers. This unique location showed her some of the beautiful New Zealand scenery on offer.

Sora is studying NCEA Level One this year and is particularly enjoying Product Technology, her fabric classes are helping her get closer to dreams of a career in fashion.

When she finishes her studies here she hopes to spend some time in America or France to pursue her career.



Oscar Wong - Macau

Oscar has now been in NZ two and a half years and still enjoys living with the same host family. Oscar speaks four languages, Cantonese, Mandarin, Japanese and English, which he uses to help our new students settle in.

He has many kiwi and international student friends. He says new students should try to speak English as much as possible to learn quickly and find friends to share this experience with.

Schools in Macau do not have a school ball so that was a new and exciting event. Math is the most interesting subject for Oscar because it is used to find solutions to real life problems.

When he finishes Year 13 at Henderson High School Oscar plans to study Hospitality and Hotel Management in Switzerland where his multi lingual skills will be a great benefit to him.


David Wang - China

David has been at Henderson High School for nearly two years now and his teachers have great things to say about his commitment to his study.

He has settled in extremely well and is a valued member of our student body, so much so that he was appointed as a Deputy Head Prefect in 2019.

Originally from Beijing, David has a great connection with his homestay family in New Zealand, and enjoys the short walk to school.

David says he likes the environment here and finds it easy to get along with other students. His interests outside the classroom including playing the Trumpet in the school band and representing the school in Badminton.

David plans to pursue his studies with a degree in Engineering when he graduates from Henderson High School.



Wataru Ito - Japan

International Student Wataru came to New Zealand from Kobe in Japan in May 2017 and is currently in Year 11 and undertaking NCEA Level 1.  He has settled in well to school, making many New Zealand friends, and is particularly enjoying his science lessons.

Wataru is a conscientious student who works hard in all his subjects.  He is building a good vocabulary and his English is improving, and he is fully immersing himself in New Zealand culture by also studying the Māori language at school.

If Wataru needs help with homework there is always someone to help him in his homestay family, either the three other children in the house or his homestay mother who is a teacher.  Wataru likes his homestay family and they often go to the mall or go out walking together.  He also commented that the house is nice and he likes the food!

“Henderson High School is very different from my school in Japan and I am enjoying the challenge of learning lots of new things.  My favourite thing about it is the gardens and the greenery.”



Sherry Zhang - China

International student and Prefect Sherry Zhang feels at home at Henderson High School, which she has been attending since she came to New Zealand from Shanghai five years ago.  She settled in easily, learning English and making many New Zealand friends, and has immersed herself in school life, being selected as a student leader in Year 13.

Sherry’s academic results are exceptional, gaining NCEA Level 2 endorsed with Merit in Year 12, and also passing NCEA Level 3 in the same year.  Her favourite subjects are Calculus and Statistics, and Sherry is also involved in playing badminton for the school.

Sherry likes her homestay family; she lives close enough to school for her to walk every day.  She has been with her homestay family for the past three years and is looking forward to attending Auckland University in 2019 where she plans to study Business.

“Henderson High School is a good school and people are friendly.  My New Zealand friends are nice to me and the teachers are willing to help.”




Miku Nakatsuku - Japan

Before I came to New Zealand I looked on the internet to find a safe country where I could study and learn English. I wanted to be at a small school so I would not feel lost in the crowd and it would be easier to fit in. My family were happy that Henderson High School has strict rules about behaviour and academic expectations so I was enrolled. Auckland has many cultures so I would feel included.

I feel that my English is getting better already and the ESOL class is helping me become more confident in speaking. I am studying Philosophy and PE for the first time and will be going on a day trip to the Auckland Art Galley with the Philosophy class. In Japan for PE we play sport but in New Zealand we also learn about the theory and our body. I have joined the school hockey team.

My homestay family is busy with two small children who are lots of fun but a little bit noisy, it is just like normal family life. We go to play netball at the weekend and enjoy lots of different kinds of food like yummy nachos and spaghetti bolognaise. After high school I would like to enrol for a business degree.

To anyone considering coming to New Zealand to study I would just say “Try it, or you will never know what you can do”.

Kim Heng Tan - Cambodia

My family wanted me to come to New Zealand to study because my uncle told us New Zealand has a good education system, the schools are modern and the air is clean and healthy. I started at Henderson High School in July 2016 and am working towards NCEA Level 1. It is my first time away from Cambodia. I live near Henderson High School with my uncle and the rest of the family and we go out to visit nice places and friends at the weekends. This is good for me because I can still enjoy the Cambodian foods that I like.

I went to school in Poipet, Cambodia where there were more subjects and less holidays, but I was happy to be able to choose art and food technology among my subjects here which were not available in Cambodia. I read in English at home and
go to ESOL class which has helped to improve my English. I want to become a chef. The other students and teachers are friendly to me and I have made a friend in class.

I enjoy my life in New Zealand but miss my motorcycle because I am not allowed to ride one here. Henderson High School is a good place for me and I like the extra activities like the Talent Quest which was held recently.


Timo Hardt - Germany

I came from Cologne in Germany for one semester from January 2016.
To begin with I was living in a homestay but then I made friends at school and was invited to live with their family. I have a lovely host mother and really like living there.

I came to New Zealand mainly to improve my English and learn about the country. I have enjoyed the different subjects I could choose to take here like Product Technology and Hospitality because they are more practical options. However my favourite subject is Physical Education because I love playing in the school Basketball team. Playing a sport here is a great way to quickly meet people and make friends. I enjoy joking with them and they are interested about what life is like in Germany.

Besides school I spend most of my time with my friends and playing basketball, basketball, BASKETBALL! At Henderson High School I have noticed that there are NCEA assessments all through the year so students know how well they are likely to do before the end of the year.
It is a quite different from how school works in Germany, which is where I will be finishing my study. Soon I will be going home and have lots of good memories to take with me!



Ruth Nochete - Phillipines

I came from Iloilo in the Philippines in January 2014. I had heard that NZ was a peaceful country and it really is true! On my first day at Henderson High School the other students welcomed me even though I was really quiet. I soon found out that the New Zealand school system called NCEA is very different to what I was used to but I am on track to achieve my Level 3 certificate in year 13.

It made me happy when people asked me about my home country because it showed they were interested and accepted me. Sometimes I teach them words in my language in return. In the Philippines there were limited computers at school so not everyone could learn but here we are more advanced with Wi-Fi and plenty for everyone and we are all treated equally. I really like all my teachers and would rate them very highly – 9/10! They always are there for me if I need help. I really enjoy Design class and I am learning to use Photoshop to make magazines and posters.

I live with my uncle and aunt from the Philippines. Mainly I spend my free time going to youth group and my church. I have met lots of interesting New Zealanders there and people from other countries.

I am so happy I chose Henderson High School and am proud to be at a good school. This is the place for me. If you come to Henderson High School don’t let shyness hold you back, come out of your shell and make friends!

Giang Hu Vu - Vietnam

I really enjoy how we learn in New Zealand. Henderson High School is very engaged in technology which means  we do more online. In Vietnam the teacher is at the front of the class, and talks, and you must take notes. Here the teacher helps the student do the work themselves. It helps you to become more creative, and gets you to think independently.

I always knew that I wanted to work in hospitality and tourism. I’m surer than ever now that I have come to Henderson High School. They have a great hospitality class and my cooking skills have improved a lot. It was confusing at first having to move to each new class but I am used to it now.

I’m very social and I really want to be able to understand the “in jokes” that my friends have. It makes me very determined to get better at English. My friends are helping me to improve and they never laugh if I get it wrong.
I’m developing my interest in photography as a hobby, and am doing a Photoshop class after school. I also play badminton. On the weekends, my homestay family takes me fishing, and although I like to cook fish, I prefer someone else to do the catching and filleting. It’s a bit smelly! My homestay family are very funny and friendly people and love outdoor activities.

We have good facilities in our International Students room and it is warm and comfortable. We use computers in class for on-line learning with Google Classroom and it saves lots of time writing out notes. Everyone is helpful and the teachers are great. There are lots of activities at school to try, including lunchtime events like EXO Day.

After I finish NCEA, I aim to stay in New Zealand to further my studies in hospitality and tourism.

Yua Aoki - Japan

I chose Henderson High School because it offered a good sports programme, and in Japan I’ve played a lot of different sports. Right now I’m doing a lot of running and am getting really fit. I’ve never done so much running before. We have the Cross Country run coming up and I hope I do well.

I wanted to come to New Zealand because I heard a lot about it from my sister (I was a little bit jealous of her experience!) My English has improved a lot since I came and it makes friendship a lot easier. Right from the start the people here have been lovely, and so it’s great now that my English is better, we can communicate more easily.

I really enjoyed our tour of Auckland. Now I feel very comfortable visiting the city with my friends at the weekend. But what I most enjoy is indoor rock climbing!

What’s most important for me is the teachers. I plan to go home to Japan to study English at university. I’ve been lucky to have a great English teacher,  who has helped me a lot. Recently we all had to do Public Speaking, and I gave a speech about my life in Japan. I used a lot of pictures to help my classmates understand my life back in Japan. They enjoyed it. The New Zealand way of teaching is very different, and I like it a lot. NCEA is hard, but I passed Level 2 and am working towards Level 3.

My host family are like a real family to me, we know each other really well and do lots of things together.

What Parents Say

Br/Minghu - China

It's around two years since David came to Henderson High School. David has made significant progress in his academic performance and grown a lot in his daily life. He gets lots of help from the staff and students there, especially from international teacher Paula, who helps a lot. Due to the good arrangement and teaching by the school, David has achieved credits of all of his subjects, mainly Merit, some are Excellence. After joining the IELTS exam in July this year, he reached an average score 7.0 which exceeded his expectations. In the near future, he will likely be qualified to join his favorite university; David also shows great interest in Chemistry. He likes the laboratory, enjoys experimenting with teachers and classmates together and wishes to select Chemistry as the major in university.

As well as his academic studies, David joins the music class playing the trumpet. His playing skills have improved and has joined the band at school, he even joined the band which is outside the school for some volunteer concerts last year.

Thanks Henderson High School for providing such a good environment, kind teachers and friendly classmates so David gets the energy to study and grow in New Zealand!


Tony Yap Bing Wah - Malaysia

Parent of Irene Yap Kai Gin

My daughter Irene Yap Kai Gin has successfully completed her schooling at Henderson High School with remarkable results.

As a parent, I am very pleased with the quality of teaching that Henderson High School provides in every aspect of my daughter’s life – from social and life skills to academics. The way the teachers nurture and invest in the students’ growth is something I will always be grateful for.

I can honestly say that Henderson High School has provided my daughter with high quality education and discipline. The highly qualified teachers are excellent and the classes are small enough to allow the teachers to give individual attention to the students.

Here I must give credit to the dedicated International Students coordinator, Mrs Paula Hart. She really looks after and takes personal care of the students. I want to thank her personally for the kind efforts and help she has given me to solve any problems my daughter faced. My experience tells me that I have chosen the right school for my daughter and I would not hesitate to recommend that the parents of International Students send their children to Henderson High School, which provides the highest quality education.

Finally, I would like to thank the school for what I consider is the wonderful time my daughter had during her two years there.