A 12-year old student from Yungu School in Hangzhou, China has been experiencing life in Rotorua this week after winning a competition to spend a week at a New Zealand school.

Jenny Zou and her father, Liang Zou, are being hosted by Education New Zealand, John Paul College and Destination Rotorua.

Jenny has been attending classes at John Paul College on school days and spending the rest of the time enjoying many of Rotorua's iconic visitor attractions including Rainbow Springs, the Agrodome, Mitai Māori Village, Redwoods Treewalk, Skyline, Rotorua Duck Tours and Polynesian Spa.

She and her father also met Rotorua's mayor, Steve Chadwick, on Tuesday to talk about her experience here.

"We're pleased to welcome Jenny and her father to Rotorua to showcase the experience that international students can enjoy here. Each year, international students contribute more than $70m to the local economy so opportunities like this to promote the region in partnership with Education New Zealand and local schools are invaluable," Destination Rotorua chief executive Michelle Templer said.


"The school has enjoyed hosting Jenny, giving both her and our students the opportunity to learn more about each other's cultures and the way that New Zealand's and China's education systems compare," Maree Stewart, the acting principal at John Paul College, said.

In her introduction letter, Jenny said she enjoyed travel and reading, especially the Harry Potter series, and older novels such as To Kill a Mockingbird and Pride and Prejudice.

"My school, Yungu School, is very special. Different from the typical Chinese middle school, its teaching style is much more project-based and focuses on co-operative learning and personalised education. We also have interesting subjects such as Chinese Drama and Ancient Asian Archaeology.

"This experience is a great chance to get to know the education and schools in New Zealand. There is so much I can learn and share."

The competition was sponsored by Education New Zealand and Wendy Pye Publications and was run by publishing company Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press, which publishes New Zealand's Sunshine books in China.

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