By CASS MARRETT
New Zealand’s full border opening, from August 1, also means a return for international students to Queenstown.
That news is welcomed by Language Schools NZ owner Guy Hughes, who’s gearing up for about 50 students — from capacity of 100 — to return in September.
Hughes put the school into hibernation in September, 2020, but received a government funding lifeline to open for 15 hours a week that November.
He says yesterday’s announcement means students can now apply for visas from July, and most likely be here by September — his previous understanding was Immigration NZ would only be processing student visas from October.
The school’s Dart House premises — half-leased to a travel guiding company — has been the subject of major upgrades, Hughes says, to ensure it can come out of the past two years ‘‘quite transformed’’.
Along with physical work, they’ve invested in setting up new systems, procedures, IT and admin platforms ahead of the school’s official reopening on September 5, a
date he committed to a few months ago.
Yesterday’s announcement, he says, just confirms that was the right decision.
Meantime, Queenstown Resort College boss Charlie Phillips says the move’s good news for the college, especially after their purchase of ABC College of English in 2020.
‘‘We haven’t been overly reliant on the international market, however, now we have bought the language school, which is pretty much 100% international students … that’s great news for that business to get up and running again.’’
He says English language students will also be able to work part-time while they study.
‘‘We’ll be promoting that to help with the workforce shortage,’’ he says.