International independent school student profile

Pattarintorn Jusakul (Emmy), ACG Strathallan

“When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”

That’s the motto adopted by international student Pattarintorn Jusakul (Emmy) as she embraces life at ACG Strathallan. 

Emmy, from Thailand, was inspired to come to New Zealand after she studied alongside Kiwi students at a month-long summer camp. “I was very impressed with their kindness, safety and the school’s education system,” she said.

Since she started at ACG Strathallan in January 2017, she has thrown herself into school life to help her adjust. She excels in IGCSE classes; is undertaking her Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award; running for 2018 student council; volunteering at the school’s inaugural charity gala; and – her personal highlight – played violin in the orchestra for the school production of The Wizard of Oz.

“I thought getting involved in activities might help it feel more familiar,” says Emmy. “I had been longing to be part of a school production, but unfortunately I didn’t have a chance to do that when I was in Thailand. I made many good friends. It was such a priceless memory when I look back.”

She’s not sure what the future will hold, but hopes to eventually combine her love of Business, Art and Economics in a commerce degree at Auckland University or in Bangkok, before starting up her own business.

For now, she is hoping to organise an international day at ACG Strathallan to unite students from all backgrounds and help them to learn about each other’s cultures, language, music and food.

“It’s for everyone at school, not only for international students,” she says. “Even though your first language is English, your family may not originally come from New Zealand. We may come from different routes, but the differences should not alienate us from anyone. I hope the event can make our school more united.”