Life at MAGS

Auckland

Mount Albert Grammar School is close to the centre of Auckland, the largest city in New Zealand, a country of only 4.5 million people which is repeatedly ranked one of the world’s most peaceful countries on the Global Peace Index.

Auckland has been named the third most liveable city in the world on the Mercer Quality of Life Survey four times in the past five years. It has a population of 1.5 million people, a warm, sunny climate and magnificent natural scenery.

Auckland’s population is multi-cultural – it has the biggest concentration of Pacific Island peoples in the world, and also has large Asian, European, British and other immigrant communities. The culture of our New Zealand’s indigenous Maori people is part of the fabric of the city.

Auckland is famous for its two beautiful harbours, many beaches, islands and forests. It also has a vibrant city life, with numerous shopping areas, malls, cinemas, cafes, restaurants and markets.

MAGS’ location

Mount Albert Grammar is five minutes’ drive from downtown Auckland, is close to beautiful city beaches and parks, and only half an hour away from Auckland’s stunning West Coast and North Shore.

Student stories – why we love MAGS

German students

Helene and Franziska speak in German about why they enjoy attending Mount Albert Grammar School.

Japanese students

Yuki and Taiki from Japan speak in Japanese about why they enjoy attending Mount Albert Grammar School.

Thai students

Five International students from Thailand talk about what they enjoy at Mount Albert Grammar School.

Vietnamese students

Five International students from Vietnam talk about what they enjoy at Mount Albert Grammar School.

Spanish-speaking students

Claudia and Valery from Chile speak in Spanish about why they enjoy attending Mount Albert Grammar School.

Helene – Germany

I arrived at MAGS in 2016, am now 16 years old and in Year 12. The students are really nice and welcomed me, and I’ve made lots of friends. I play Underwater Hockey, which is a sport we don’t have in Germany.

The teachers are really friendly and helpful as well. MAGS offers lots of subjects I couldn’t do at home, such as Dance and Drama – my favourite subject is Food & Hospitality. I’m learning how to make coffee which will be a good skill for me to have if I want to work in a cafe in the future. I’m also taking English, French, Maths, Health and Media Studies. I help out in the German language class, which is fun.

My Homestay has gone really well – the parents have twins who also come to MAGS.

My year in New Zealand is nearly over and I will miss this country and this school very much, but I will keep in touch with all the friends I’ve made.

An – Vietnam

I started at MAGS this year (2017), am 15 years old and in Year 10. I plan to stay until the end of my schooling.

The students and teachers are very friendly. There are many outdoor activities that we can join in – I’m trying Cheerleading.

There are lots of subjects for students to choose from – choosing some of the subjects I’m interested in makes me happy to come to school. I’m taking English, Maths, Science, Social Studies, Visual Communication and English Language to improve my English.

The school’s facilities are very modern – there are many Science labs where we get to do experiments, the classrooms have SmartBoards and we use iPads for online learning. They all make school colourful and enjoyable – it makes me want to come here each day.

Activities

The school organises a wide range of activities to help International students get to know each other, celebrate their culture and also make new Kiwi friends and experience the New Zealand lifestyle (see below).

International Camp

Every year in Term 1 a three-day camp is held for International Students in the beautiful hill country near Auckland. This is a wonderful opportunity for the students to get to know each other, and start to experience the kiwi lifestyle of outdoor adventure.

International Student Camp 2017

International students had the chance to try new challenges at the annual International Camp, held at Camp Adair in the Hunua Ranges from 17-19 February.

Forty four students from a variety of nationalities and all year levels attended the camp, where they had the chance to take on a high ropes course at night, a confidence course, a mudslide and the Kiwi tradition of toasting marshmellows over a campfire.

Year 10 girl Nu Thien An Phan from Vietnam said the camp was “amazing.”

“I loved all of it . In my country we don’t get to do outdoor activities like that – my favourite thing was sky swing off the high ropes.”

Zejun Huang from China, also in Year 10, said the campfire night was a new experience and he also enjoyed trying his hand at archery.

“The camp was a good way to make new friends too,” said Zejun.

International Director Ms Jude Lydia said the camp instructors said the group was one of the most active and engaged they had hosted. “Everyone tried everything, and the look of sheer delight on their faces when they achieved a challenge was inspiring,” said Ms Lydia. “It was the first time most of the students had experienced this kind of outdoor activity, and it was a great way for them to build strong friendships that will support them during their time at MAGS.”

International Food & Culture Evening

This annual event is a highlight of the school calendar, when International students come together to share food from their home countries, and give performances of traditional dance and music.

Food & Culture Evening 2016

An annual highlight on the MAGS’ International student calendar, the 2016 Food & Culture Evening was held in the FW Gamble Hall on Tuesday, 5 July, and was enjoyed by students, homestay families and staff, including Headmaster Mr Patrick Drumm.

Many of MAGS’ 100 International students took part, bringing dishes of their national cuisine for the shared dinner, and performing on stage. Dishes included those from Thailand, Vietnam, China and India. Performances included songs and dances of Fiji, Thailand, Japan, Rwanda, India and China. International Prefect Sky Nguyen led a haka with other boys who board at School House, and the International Choir closed the evening.

International Director Ms Jude Lydia said the evening was a wonderful celebration of Mount Albert Grammar’s International student body, and she thanked the Kiwi Prefects for helping run elements of the evening such as sound and lighting. “It was a great way of bringing together our Kiwi and International students to create a very enjoyable evening.”

Sport

International students are encouraged to join one of Mount Albert Grammar’s many sports teams. It’s a great way to make friends and learn more about the culture of New Zealand.

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Performing Arts

International students who enjoy dance, drama and music are welcome to join their Kiwi friends in their choice of the many groups we offer. They may also take Dance, Drama or Music as an academic subject.

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Clubs

Mount Albert Grammar offers a wide range of club to suit the interests of our students, and International students are welcome to join in. Whether you enjoy Photography, Robotics, or helping our local Environment, there’s a club for you.

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