International Student Profiles
We are very proud of the contributions international students make to the School community, as they pursue their individual interests in academics, sport, music and more.
We enjoy recognising and supporting international students and helping them to take full advantage of being a Grammar boy, and many succeed in enrolling at some of the best universities in the world.
The Auckland Grammar alumni network is very influential and being an ‘Old Boy’ will continue to benefit the international students in the future.
Our alumni enrol at top universities worldwide, including Oxford University, the University of Auckland, the University of Sydney, the University of Melbourne, the University of Chicago, Waseda University, Yonsei, Seoul National University, Yale and Princeton to name a few.
Old Boys stories
Shunxing (Daniel) Shi ’15 is studying engineering at the University of Auckland and working part time in the School’s Technology Department. Daniel was a Prefect in 2019 and received top marks 100% for his AS Product Design coursework component. He was also a member of the Scholar’s group, Proceres Grammatici, was named the 2019 Captain of Fencing (becoming the first international student to do so), and was the leader of both the Headmaster’s International Committee and the International Social Committee.
“Grammar has given me many positive experiences, has made me work smart and to explore the unknown and understand the beauty of life. I now understand my own limitations, and I am grateful so I can keep a positive mind-set for future improvements.
“Thank you Grammar for making me who I am. I look up to the stars in the sky with respect to all the great people, not because they have world recognitions, nor because I want to live their life. My life is also a legend, for I have altered the boundary between what was possible and what wasn’t. I strive to make our community better, even if it will never be officially recognised. Therefore I understand how difficult it was for these great men and women to be at their level, so the respect comes naturally.”
Sanghoo Kim ’16 from South Korea competed at the 2019 New Zealand Robotics Olympiad. Tasked with building a robot from scratch within a three-hour time limit, Sanghoo received Gold in the Line Tracer category and Bronze for his creativity.
“I started at Auckland Grammar this year and in that short time, I have already learnt a lot. There have been many opportunities provided by the School for students, and ongoing support and care given by the teachers. Although adjusting to a new school had its challenges, the teachers helped to make the transition as smooth as possible. I also made friends early on, which contributed to my positive experience at Grammar.
“Growing up, I had always been interested in programming and robotics. It was a hobby I invested time in when I lived in Korea. Leaving that behind when I moved to NZ was difficult, but to my surprise, I was able to pursue my passion through the Robot Olympiad. This event brought me great joy and I even managed to place third in the competition. Once I graduate from Grammar, my dream is to study robotics at a good university and become a programmer in this field.”
Yifei Wang ’16 from China was a member of the School’s swimming squad. The team competed at the 2019 New Zealand Secondary Schools Swimming Championships in Hamilton, beginning the week prior to Senior Exams. The team performed outstandingly well to finish third in New Zealand overall and win the trophy for the top school in relays.
“Starting in Form 3, I felt the environment is different. At first I felt like I didn’t fit into this new environment but the style of teaching and the students helped me a lot – this is one of the reasons I choose to attend Grammar. The variety of activities that can be chosen attracts a lot of international students and I am glad to be a part of it. Overall, my school life has been good and I am looking forward to what will come in my final year.”
Harrison Wang ’14 from Shanghai was one of two Auckland Grammar School students to gain admission to Oxford University in 2019.
“Grammar has given me many opportunity to be a better candidate for Oxford University. I learnt how to be more confident as a member of the School’s debating team, and I gained practical leadership skills through initiating a free lunchtime tutoring programme.”
Ba Quang Huy (Matthew) Le ’14 from Vietnam enrolled at Grammar as an international student. Starting halfway through the year, he dedicated himself to quickly advancing his English skills.
Showing a real determination of spirit, he embraced the opportunities at Grammar, taking full advantage of the rich learning environment. Le achieved three NZQA Scholarship Awards and as such his name was added to the 2018 Scholars Board.
Bruce Ng ’13, from Hong Kong, is an avid fencer who saw a great opportunity to further develop his fencing skills. Being at Auckland Grammar gave him the drive he needed to become top in New Zealand for the Under 17 grade. Bruce graduated from the University of Auckland in 2021 with a Bachelor of Sport, Health and Physical Education degree.
Thai student Micky Chiewvatsagonchai ’13 was at Grammar for five years. He and his twin brother Macky came from Bangkok in an effort to improve their language skills. Micky played Football, Table Tennis, Badminton and Futsal to keep active and was a School Prefect in 2017.
Chinese national Matthew Duan ’11 transferred from The High School Affiliated to Renmin University (RDFZ) in China to complete his high school education at Auckland Grammar. He was able to transition very easily, worked hard to achieve exceptional academic results, and went on to study medicine at the University of Melbourne.
Also from China is Old Boy Andrew Huang ’11, who was the third boy in his family to study at Auckland Grammar, as they consider it the best School in New Zealand. Andrew studied the Cambridge stream (CIE) and was heavily involved in the School’s media group, a co-curricular group where students are involved in filming or photographing school events and sports games. His advice? “Focus on what you like to do!”
Japanese student Genki Miyauchi ’10 was at Auckland Grammar for three years (Form 5 to Form 7) and was a very intellectual student. He worked hard and helped many other students. He was rewarded for his leadership and commitment to Auckland Grammar by being recognised as a School Prefect in 2014. Genki is now studying at the Kings College of London. Read his story here.
Taiki Sakurai ’11 came to Auckland Grammar from Japan as part of a year-long exchange from Ritsumeikan Uji. He studied a range of topics while at the School including Biology, Business Studies, Mathematics, Japanese and ESOL to help improve his English. Taiki loved the diversity of Grammar and he says the experience helped him develop more self-confidence.
Coming from a small town in Taiwan, Old Boy Jimmy Wang ’11 and his parents were keen for him to study abroad to immerse himself in a new culture. While at Grammar, Jimmy participated in many activities, including table tennis, badminton, Amnesty International, Habitat for Humanity projects, and the Duke of Edinburgh programme.
Perth Kosaipat ’10 from Thailand had a fantastic time at Auckland Grammar. Well-liked by staff and his classmates, Perth’s photographic art was used as part of the annual Art Expo, which was extremely well received. In Form 5, he received the Geoffrey Leonard Perry Memorial Award for diligence and effort and was top in Accounting in Form 6.
Hailing from South Korea, Donggue Lee ’11 achieved great academic success in the five years he spent at Grammar. He received an Outstanding Cambridge Learner Award for Top in the World in Mathematics for his Cambridge International Exam at AS Level in 2013. Donggue was also selected as a Prefect in 2015.
The School’s International department were very proud of Donggue’s success. “Not only does he focus on his own academic progress, but he exemplifies the spirit of the Grammar Way of humility, pride and commitment by making a positive contribution to the School through organising a senior student tutoring group for international students”. Click here to read more.
Also from South Korea, Michael Seo ’11 wanted to study at Auckland Grammar because of the School’s reputation in being competitive in sports and having a robust academic system. He was involved in the Football club and was a team member of the 3rd XI soccer team as a centre-mid fielder.
Argentine student Tomas Forner ’13, hailing from a small town in Buenos Aires, came to Auckland Grammar School on a one-term exchange to play rugby and loved it. He came to improve his rugby skills but he also studied hard and focused on other areas of School life.