Student Stories

Steven Lee (South Korea)
My name is Jong Won Lee and I would like to say I have a special and unique experience as an International Student at Sacred Heart College. As a newly arrived Year 10 International Student from South Korea, I started my journey at the Sacred heart College boarding hostel. My first welcome was from Mr O’Donnell who greeted me with a warm smile and firm “Kiwi handshake”. The hostel was my home until the end of Year 12 when I moved to my homestay and experienced life in a kiwi home.

Despite all the worries that I had, life as an International Student has been amazing. All the staff of the International Department surround us with true love and care. In the last 2 years, I have been privileged to be a part of the International Student Committee. This role has taught me to listen to others and allowed me to learn more about myself. It has given me the opportunity to look forward. Although the community of International Students and teachers is small at SHC, it is very strong and powerful.
In this year of lockdowns, with limited family contact and a compressed school year, our International community has been a source of support and whanau for each and every one of us. It is surely one of the most precious communities that Sacred Heart College has.

Thanks to all the teachers who guided me through this journey, as the young Year 10 boy has graduated and is now moving toward a new chapter of his life. I can proudly say that I have grown into a confident adult thanks to my teachers and my time at Sacred Heart College. 

My Year 13 Head of Year, Mr Croxford, said “you graduate today, but you never leave SHC.” The brotherhood I have had in the Sacred Heart whanau will be with me and a part of me forever. Confortare Esto Vir!


Bob Liu (China)
My name is Bob Liu and I come from Beijing, China. I started my study in Sacred Heart College since year 10. Four years of study in SHC has been one of my most precious memory in my life. I had heard of the high quality of New Zealand’s Senior Education before and that is exactly why I came here. Sacred Heart College definitely express the fact that New Zealand high schools have high standard and SHC is a very nice catholic college, which is a very fascinating characteristic of Western culture.

Sacred Heart College is one of the best educational sites in New Zealand with most advanced equipment and apparatus. In SHC, all the staff and teachers are very friendly and inclusive to International Students Department. Our teachers are highly qualified and able to teach a student to their best potential. Our college has a wide variety of activities such as Fiafia Night, lots of music and art showcases, and various sport championship, and I am pretty sure that anyone in this college can find their position and personal value in this special college. After I have studied in SHC, my most astonishing improvement is my English. I still remember that the only sentence I could understand on the first day in this college was “Good Morning” but I have no obstacle in communicating with native speakers at all, now.

I want to tell all future SHC students that there are all kinds of opportunities and possibilities here for you to achieve the kind of person you want to be and you just need to be here with us.

Art Manupeen (Thailand)
It only seems like yesterday since I walked through the gates of Sacred Heart College for my very first day. Looking back, I was a shy young man who lacked self-confidence in whatever I did. However, that began to change once I stepped through the gates of the school. It may be because of the warm-hearted welcoming or the friendly smiles on each of my classmates' faces which surprisingly made me forget the fact that I was living in a foreign country. I became part of a family that has helped me evolve in becoming a person who can fully express myself. Life in Sacred Heart college is like a journey, a journey that time flies by without me realizing it. However, as there is a start to a journey there is also an end. The end to the journey may mean that I leave the school but the values, friendship, experience, knowledge, and life lessons that are given by the college will forever remain in me. I truly consider it as a gift to be able to attend this college and am grateful to all the staff, teachers, and most importantly friends who all help to create this amazing experience that will hold a special place in my heart.


Leo Ludke (Germany)
I spent half a year at Sacred Heart College. The school timetable was different to what I knew from Germany. A school day at Sacred Heart starts with a morning prayer and the notices of the day in the homeroom, except Mondays or Fridays which are Assembly days. In the Assemblies, where prizes are given and songs are sung, I felt the spirit and unity of the school. The subjects and the way of teaching also provided new experiences. For example, Photography, which is not offered in German schools, turned out a very interesting subject. I discovered that it is not only about taking good pictures but also to have an actual message, something you want to tell with those pictures. Biology, on the other hand, was a subject I already knew from Germany, but at Sacred Heart it was taught very differently. For example, we wrote a practical assessment where the task was to conduct an experiment and then to analyze and prove a statement based on the results. I also enjoyed Music, where we composed musical pieces, and English, where we analyzed books and movies. In English, I found it particularly fascinating to trace the connections between four different texts when we learned how to write a connection essay.

During my whole stay, Sacred Heart offered me great support, from choosing the subjects in the beginning, to getting assistance about the subject or homestay problems because of the language. To put in a nutshell, I experienced Sacred Heart College as a great school with a high academic level, a strong spirit and awesome support for international students. It was great to be at Sacred Heart College!


Jean Tramond

Jean Tramond (France)
After one and half year spent in New Caledonia I came to Sacred Heart College for 6 months before heading back to school in Paris. Studying in New Zealand has been an experience that has formed me a lot in my education as well as in my faith. I have discovered Sacred Heart College with strong spirit and values. As an international student I stayed at the Boarding Hostel which I considered an even better experience because a family spirit is truly present here.
The academic part of the school is nicely treated: each student can choose among a variety of subjects depending on what he prefers. You can also discover new subjects. For instance I have discovered carpentry which I have enjoyed very much. The college is well prepared for international students. A dedicated staff member is here to help and all the students are welcoming and never hesitate to help. The hostel is very comfortable, well-structured allowing time for study, entertainment and sports. It is located right on the school site so the sports facilities are very accessible. The religious part of this college has been very important for me, as the College was founded by Marist Brothers who are the followers of a fellow Frenchman: Marcellin Champagnat. A nice chapel allowing a mass up to three times a week is located in the centre of the school. I found Sacred Heart a very faithful school taking care of each one's spirit to make us become better men in the future.
I really enjoyed my time at the Sacred Heart College though it was too short. This experience will stay in my mind forever as I really grow up thanks to it. I hope all the best for this college in the future.

Pablo MartinezPablo Martinez (Mexico)
Hi, I am Pablo Martinez, I come from the north of Mexico, in a city called Monterrey. My favourite sport is cycling. I am quite good at it, and I am a member of Sacred Heart College Senior A team. I have been selected by the College for its competition in New Zealand Cycling Nationals. I love New Zealand's environment, both learning and social, it is very different of what I had in Mexico. And the ecology that they have in this country is just AMAZING. The teachers at Sacred Heart are very friendly and very talented, I have learned a lot of different techniques since I came. I think I become a better person, both spiritual and social. The students are very friendly, they help you when you are in need, and they really help you a lot. I really like the fact that SHC is a catholic school, and since I am a catholic as well, it's great, and the Religious Education classes are very enjoyable. You learn a lot from the teachers, and brothers.
I have a great time in my home stay, they are a great family, and they treat me as their own son. I really feel that I am lucky to be here. I have had a lot of happy moments since I have been here.

Yoshiki SagaYoshiki Saga (Japan)
My name is Yoshiki and I am an international student from Japan. I came to Sacred Heart College because of its high academic success and its impressive achievements at sports, especially football, which I have been actively involved in. The learning environment in New Zealand is of a high standard. Sacred Heart College is one of the leading secondary schools in Auckland offering the NCEA system, and its academic pathway is supported by friendly and attentive teachers encouraging us to achieve each subject's potential.
Furthermore, the students themselves are cooperating and encouraging each other to gain the highest level of achievements in class. I find it comfortable to study at this school and I am glad to see my English has rapidly improved in these years.
Out of school, I have been staying with the same homestay family. The time I have spent with them is memorable and we sometimes organise trips to see other parts of New Zealand. It is awesome to travel around with somebody who lives in New Zealand because I don't have so many chances to go sightseeing out of Auckland by myself. The homestay is close to school, about five minutes on foot, and my affable homestay brother plays football too so that I can say my host family is a very good fit for me.
I think Sacred Heart College has an impressive record in sports. Many players in many sports are involved in national competition, for example, athletics, rugby, tennis and football. Football is a representative sport in 2011. Sacred Heart College has achieved the national tournament in New Zealand and three players from the 1st XI team went to the under 17 world cup in Mexico. One of them has also played for the under 20 national team and has contracted with a premier team in England as a professional player. I have been involved in the 2nd XI team for the last two years and enjoyed playing during the winter.
Sacred Heart College is a Catholic school and although this is a different religion for me. I feel the values that underpin the school are very solid and help all the boys, including international students, to feel valued and cared for. The sense of family is very strong as is the students' pride in the school.

Junyang FengJunyang Feng (China)
Hi, my name is Jacky, and I am from Guang Dong, China. I decided to come to Sacred Heart College because it is a Catholic school with very good reputation in New Zealand. The College has a hostel, which means I can live in the boarding house with other students inside of the school.

I like New Zealand, it is one of my favourite places
I have been and its learning environment is more relaxing than in China. In school, my teachers are nice, if you have a question and go ask them, they will help you as much as they can, even after school. My fellow students are friendly, they always have conversation with me actively and my English speaking skills get better and better. In the hostel, there are many students from other countries; therefore, I have made lots of friends from different countries.

At a school like Sacred Heart College, I have many chances for my hobbies, I play table tennis for the school teams and we have done a very good job. I'm particularly interested in rugby and I like watching rugby games, because it is so exciting. As a Catholic school, we have mass every week, and I find it a good chance to learn and understand another religion. I enjoy being a SHC student!

Martí PuigMartí Puig Aunión (Spain)
My name is Martin, and I am from Spain. I like doing sport and meeting new friends. I would like to be an industrial engineer in the future.
New Zealand is a really nice country that I really enjoyed to be here. I am studying one term of my high school in English; it is amazing for me to know another educational system. Sacred Heart College is really a big school. It is all boys, the teachers like their job and everything is awesome.At school I play football (soccer), also I have done some really good work at improving my rugby skills. Sacred Heart College has a very strong tradition in Rugby.
I live in a homestay near Mission Bay. Everything is good here; the dinners are particularly nice and big. One thing I found interesting was when I gave them a really good sausage from Barcelona. They really enjoyed and it was gone quickly. I am happy I made the decision to study at Sacred Heart College.