2020 Ambassador Welcome Event

On Sunday 26th July, 26 student ambassadors travelled to Komanawa Retreat, 40 minutes from Whangarei to be welcomed to the Study Northland Student Ambassador Program, to meet each other and to learn about sustainability with some hands on activities.


Our ambassadors are a mix of international and domestic students chosen for their enthusiasm for Northland life and their willingness to embrace new opportunities. The 13 nationalities represented at the event included New Zealand, Germany, Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Brazil, Korea, Kuwait, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Nepal, China and the Philllipines.

Welcome Event Photos

The Ambassador Program

The purpose of this program is to give ambassadors special opportunities to strongly connect with Northland’s people, culture, community and environment. We hope they will learn new skills and new ways of thinking to grow as people and become a better global citizens of the world. The experiences and stories they share with us will help future students decide on Northland as a place to live and study.

Guest Speaker: Saurab Lama from Study Auckland

Saurab is from Nepal and has been studying at Auckland University for the past 18 months. He is a valued student ambassador for Study Auckland and an expert in the art of asking questions and getting to the heart of the places he visits and people he meets. He features in numerous student videos on the Study Auckland channel, promotes Auckland via his Instagram channel and is one of the stars of a new video series about Northland.

Saurab’s advice was to students was to “embrace who you are, embrace where you are from and use that diversity to promote studying in Northland. Be yourself and think of this as an opportunity to experience more of New Zealand.”

Why we chose to have this event at Komanawa Retreat

It will be the job of future generations to look after our planet. Overseas travel isn’t a very sustainable activity with all the air travel involved but if students can return home with new knowledge about the environment and sustainability, this will go a long way towards off-setting their carbon footprint. Komanawa is working with nature to restore their environment and create a clean, green environment and a sustainable business for future generations.

Sustainability and Tree Planting

Susie Pasoe, co-owner of Komanawa, talked to students about what New Zealand looked like hundreds of years ago and the type of plants and birdlife which lived here. She touched briefly on events since then which have had major impacts on this environment such as the milling of kauri trees, damming of streams and introduction of animal pests.

The students then planted up trays of manuka seeds adding a marker with their name and school to be able to later track the progress of the seedlings and plants. We walked across the farm to the incredible 145 foot waterfall on the property, discovering freshwater crayfish and the clearest water many had ever seen. After lunch, all the students squashed into a trailer and were towed to a nearby slope to plant manuka seedlings.

Reflecting on the day and future events

We returned to Komanawa’s rennovated woolshed at the end of the day for a quiz and to reflect on what students had learnt, what they enjoyed the most and what sort of events and activities they would like to take part in in the future.

“It was an amazing day and an incredible group of students, many of them still at high school and living on the other side of the world during a global pandemic. Really looking forward to many more events like this in the future.”

More about our Student Ambassador Program…

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