The Awards are funded by the Ministry of Education through the New Zealand Government’s Growth and Innovation Framework and support the development of language skills considered necessary for New Zealand to move toward a globally-connected economy. They also support the Government’s economic, social and cultural goals.

AFS New Zealand is contracted by the Ministry of Education to deliver the Language Immersion Awards (LIA) for students already selected to depart in 2018.

The Ministry of Education is currently reviewing funding for the Language Immersion Awards. While this process is underway, AFS is not accepting applications for Language Immersion Awards for departure in 2019.

Lorraine Semple, Spanish Teacher who went to Argentina

I’d always wanted to go to Argentina, my teenage kids were old enough to look after themselves and the application was relatively easy.

My fluency improved remarkably. Not just in Buenos Aires, but once I got back to New Zealand – because I have kept in such good contact with the people I met there and continue to speak Spanish on a regular basis. My grammar has advanced dramatically as I took University classes while I was there and my confidence continues to grow. Before I did the year-long exchange, I couldn’t really participate at the annual LangSem (Language Seminar) events for Professional Development, because I wasn’t confident about my fluency. Now I can not only participate, but contribute and really benefit from these opportunities.

Suzette Ipsen, French Teacher who went to France

I was placed in a middle school in Bavay. Along with living and learning a fascinating new way of life, I supported the local English teacher and was intrigued by the different teaching methods. It is very teacher-lead there, while here in NZ we are far more student based.  In terms of my professional development, I have noticed how much my confidence has increased. Even though I was only there for a month, I am talking in full sentences in the classroom now – not just in words and phrases.
I teach at Maeroa Intermediate School in a language extension environment, so I hadn’t specialised in French. But this trip improved my fluency to the point where I can now demonstrate scenarios, such as ordering at a cafe, based on real experiences. And I have such great stories to tell them!

Sheree Campbell, Spanish Teacher who went to Mexico

At the end of my year, I sat the international B2 DELE exam in Mexico. It’s a really tough exam, considering the level of Spanish I had arrived with, so I was very happy I did well in listening and reading comprehension. But I was blown away by the result for my speech exam – 29 out of 30. I was stoked!
Now, back at Mountainview High School, Timaru, where I teach year 9 to 12, my teaching methods rely much less on textbooks and much more on the language, contemporary application and resources I brought back with me. For instance, I bought the Spanish versions of the Disney stories that the kids will have prior knowledge of. We’ll watch the movie – like Los Increíbles or Pinocchio – and I’ll use that to illustrate structure and everyday vocabulary.