Charity Auction for a worthy cause

English language students at The Campbell Institute have held a charity auction to raise money for the Downtown Community Ministry (DCM), which is a non-denominational organisation working to support people through personal hardship.

Campbell Charity Auction

Businesses from around Wellington donated items to the auction, including an iPhone 6s from Vodafone, tickets from the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Embassy Cinema, coffee beans from Flight Coffee and Havana Coffee Works, and many other products and gift vouchers from shops and restaurants around the city.

The charity auction was a new experience for many students who also donated items and got their wallets out to contribute to this cause. The Campbell Institute’s smaller Auckland campus also pitched in to bring the total to $2,000.00.

The Campbell charity auction is an annual event, and in 2015 raised over $3,000 for Sir Edmund Hillary’s Himalayan Trust to help rebuild Nepal after the earthquakes.


About DCM

DCM (formerly known as Inner City Ministry and then Downtown Community Ministry) was started by a group of Wellington churches in 1969. Over more than 40 years’ experience of working with the most marginalised and poorest people in the city of Wellington, DCM has adapted and changed the services it offers in order to respond to pressing needs in our city. For more information, visit


Campbell activities helped to improve my English

Fahad Alfaify from Fayfa won a scholarship from Education New Zealand Saudi Arabia to study English and stay at a Campbell homestay family for 6 weeks. Before returning home Fahad shared his secret on improving his English in just 3 weeks since he started studying at The Campbell Institute in Wellington.

It’s the second time Fahad came to New Zealand to study English. He first came in 2012 to Whitianga, and has ever since been looking forward to return. When Education NZ Saudi Arabia created a competition on social media, he jumped at the chance and won the opportunity to study at Campbell by sharing content on Twitter and getting the most retweets.

When asked why New Zealand, Fahad answered, “Actually, because of the people.” He finds people in New Zealand very helpful and friendly. “I think New Zealand is different from other countries. There’s no hate for people with different skin color or religion. That’s why I find it great here.”

Knowing he only had a short period of time in Wellington, he joined almost every Campbell activity after class and on weekends. “At Campbell I’m not only focussing on learning English from books. I can attend more than one activity and it’s very helpful to improve my English faster. I can practice speaking more. Before it was hard to get the words out and make sentences,” said Fahad. “In 3 weeks I was able to speak fast and make more friends.”

Fahad and Mohammed's farewell afternoon tea

A couple of days before his departure, Fahad and another Campbell student, Mohammed Alanazi, threw a farewell afternoon tea in the staff lounge. Campbell teachers and admin team members were lucky enough to be served delicious cakes and traditional Arabic cardamom coffee.

Fahad’s teachers were sad to see one of their brightest and active students leave, but excited to know that Fahad’s improved knowledge of English will help him advance in his professional career. He was scheduled for a job interview the day after his arrival in Saudi Arabia. All the best Fahad!


Demi Au Pair Programme – “One of the Best Times in My Life”

My name is Mario, I am from Austria and I spent 14 weeks studying English on the demi au pair programme. I really have to say that the stay as a demi was one of the best times in my life. I had a great time with my lovely host family and it was a pleasure studying at Campbell in Wellington.

Wellington is such a lovely city with so many opportunities to celebrate your free time. A lot of live music, a lot of art, heaps of cool bars and cafés and the most important thing >> nice and friendly people!

I made a short clip below for the video contest #wellymyway during my time in Wellington. Everybody had to create a clip how he sees Wellington. Good question, how do I see Wellington?

  • Coffee
  • Wind
  • Music
  • Art
  • Cool people

I enjoyed exploring the city, especially seeing the Chinese New Year parade and going to the Newtown Festival, and the outdoors around Wellington. I did a biketrip next to the sea in Eastbourne, walked on the beach in Petone and Waikanae, and went up close to seals in Cape Palliser.

I posted a few shots of my great stay in New Zealand on my flickr page, including when I explored both North Island and South Island starting from the hot water beach in the Coromandel, Hobbiton, Huka Falls and all the way down to Mount Cook and Milford Sound. I will never ever forget this amazing time with all those lovely people!

I always wanted to have a beautiful card of New Zealand. I never found anything I was looking for so I have decided to make my own map. Here it is ?

I am totally sure that you will not regret your stay in New Zealand. You will learn a lot for your future and you will make many friends from different countries.


Staff Corner – Lance Russell

Lance joined Campbell in 2015 after graduating from Campbell’s CELTA Training Course. He describes his passion for languages as his motivation to become an English teacher, and shares his favorite thing about Campbell – his students!

Tell us a bit about yourself prior to joining Campbell.

I’m originally from the United Kingdom. I moved to New Zealand when I was 15 years old. Ever since I was a child I had a huge passion for languages – I love languages and I love culture. Prior to becoming an English teacher I went to Victoria University of Wellington and I did a Bachelor of Arts majoring in German and minoring in European studies. I also did Hispanic studies and Brazilian culture studies – I love culture.

How many languages do you speak?

My German is not the best – I’m like pre-intermediate level of German. My Spanish is elementary because I don’t practice it, and my Portuguese is still quite basic.

You did your CELTA training at Campbell. Tell us about that.

The techniques that they teach you, I notice that you actually do implement. I think the best example would be watching actual teachers teaching a natural class, because you pick up quite a lot from them. One of the crucial things you learn in CELTA is to actually think about the activities – what could you do rather than sitting doing nothing and not being active, rather than just reading the textbook. And it’s really good to help you teach grammar because it teaches you to break it down, make it more interactive, which I think is great.

How’s it been so far teaching at Campbell?

There’s an eclectic mix of students at Campbell from different cultural backgrounds – that’s what makes it so fun. It’s not just one culture that is coming here to learn, it’s lots of different cultures. Not only is that good to teach but I think it’s also really crucial for the students. They can’t rely on speaking their own language. They have to think creatively – what am I trying to say, I don’t know this word, how else can I say it – and they actually have to use English‎.

Tell us one thing that the students don’t know about you.

I’m actually a spy. I’m just kidding. I don’t know – I’m very open. Most of the students are friends with me on Facebook so they know everything about me.


The Learning Hub First Birthday!

The Learning Hub is a self access learning centre, a place where Campbell students go to when they want to practice listening and speaking, get feedback on their classwork and access learning resources. Since it opened a year ago, it has seen a steady increase in the number of students wanting to improve their English outside of the normal class time.

The Learning Hub is staffed by Christina Wielgolawski, our self access learning specialist on Monday and Thursday afternoons. She is there to help students with specialist 1:1 consultation and to help guide them on their own English language journeys. It is not uncommon for Christina to deal with a wide range of questions and needs, including discussing students’ learning processes.

Learning is better together

Christina has more than 15 years of experience running self-access learning centres including managing one in Paris, France, with about 150 learners. “A self-access learning centre benefits students by helping them develop their own learning,” said Christina.

“The Learning Hub has been very helpful, especially in helping me with my pronunciation,” said Binh Dinh “John” Le, one of our students from Hanoi, Vietnam.  “I always recommend The Learning Hub to other students so more and more students know and make use of this free of charge facility.”

The Learning Hub is open to Campbell students in Wellington every Monday and Thursday ‎from 3.30pm to 5pm.

Celebration time

Students celebrated The Learning Hub’s first birthday celebration with a haiku competition. Haiku are very short poems about things that make people feel connected to nature. They originated in Japan, and for decades have been a popular poetry style in English as well. Wen “Roxy” Zhang from Beijing, China, a student from one of our pre-intermediate classes, won a $40 Unity Books voucher with her haiku.

Autumn has passed us
When you can see fallen leaves
That means winter’s come
– Roxy

Happy first birthday The Learning Hub and here’s to many more years to come!


Laura – A Typical Day as a Campbell Demi Au Pair

The following is an extract taken from a letter written by Laura to her replacement after she finished on The Campbell Demi Au Pair Programme:

In the morning I attend my classes at the Campbell Institute, which I really enjoy. We usually leave the house at 8:15 am. On their way to Amelia’s school Haley drops me of at the train station, from where I get to Wellington. From the Railway Station in Wellington it’s another 20 min walk to the school.

After school I have about an hour before I need to catch the train to pick Amelia up from school. I mostly spend this hour with my friends that I met in school. We often have lunch together, go to one of the numerous cafés, work out at the gym or just hang out at the waterfront. There are a lot of things to do in Wellington!


At 2 pm, I pick up the car from Haley’s work so that I can collect Amelia from her school. Don’t worry about driving on the left side of the road, it’s easier than you think it is and you’ll quickly get used to it. In the afternoon, I look after Amelia. What we often do is baking, doing some arts and crafts, go to the park, the café, the library and sometimes to the pools. Most of the time Amelia has an idea what she wants to play or do. Sometimes Amelia’s friends which live across the street are allowed to come over and play. During that time in the afternoon I also do some light household chores like tidying up the kitchen or folding the washing. Once a week I clean the bathroom, vacuum-clean and mop the floor and dust the furniture.


The evenings are always very relaxed, we all have dinner together and let the day end. At the weekends I have free time. I am always welcome to spend my time with Haley, Amelia and their family, which is really enjoyable. I also like to go out and explore Wellington with my friends or go on weekend trips to discover the country.

I had an amazing time here in Wellington and I got to learn a lot about the kiwi culture, the country and its people. I am sure you will also enjoy your time here and in this family.

Laura – Germany

Japanese Rugby Players Study at Campbell

In 2015 Japan produced one of the greatest sporting upsets of all time by beating South Africa in the Rugby World Cup. With Japan hosting the next Rugby World Cup in 2019, New Zealand is seeing more and more Japanese rugby players coming here to improve their Rugby skills and study English.

Campbell is currently hosting ten Japanese rugby players on our English + Rugby Programme in partnership with NZ Rugby Links.

IMG_8522_best groupThe experience has been invaluable for these high performing rugby players and highlights the considerable differences between Japanese and New Zealand rugby styles. Two Japanese rugby players from NTT DoCoMo in Osaka, Yoshimi Watanabe (Fullback) and his colleague Go Miura (Flanker) both commented that their English has improved dramatically since they began studying at Campbell and it has helped them to more effectively understand their coach’s instructions and game strategy. It has also helped them communicate and bond with their NZ teammates.

 “Campbell has a great atmosphere to learn English as everyone else speaks English here. I have more opportunities to talk with other students. I feel my listening and vocabulary are improved. It was a wise decision to study aboard in NZ.”  

Go Miura – Japan


“Campbell has a good mixture of students from different culture background in their classes. It is good for me to meet people from all around the world. I like to study here because when I have difficulty to understand something in English, my classmates always explain it for me. Teachers are always helpful. I wish to go back and study English here every year.”  

Yoshimi Watanabe – Japan

When they aren’t training for rugby games the students also enjoy Campbell’s extensive activity programme and life in Wellington. Yoshimi particularly enjoys the coffee culture and the local pub and club scene in Wellington.

For future Japanese rugby players looking at an overseas rugby and English experience, Yoshimi Watanabe provides the following advice:

“New Zealand is a free country and if you want to study rugby abroad, you need to learn jargons and pay attention to your pronunciation…Speak English more frequently and don’t be shy!”

Campbell wishes all of the Japanese rugby players all the best and we hope to see them play in the next Rugby World Cup in Japan in 2019.

RB players 2_副本_副本Click here for an article on the Japanese students’ Wellington club rugby experience.

If you are interested in our English + Rugby Programme, please visit our website or contact us directly at

Eri from Japan – I love New Zealand. I love Wellington

Hi, I’m Eri, from Japan.

I’ve been in New Zealand for six weeks. I wish I could have stayed longer. It was my first time in New Zealand and also my first time traveling alone. Actually I didn’t know a lot about New Zealand before I came, but now I know the people are lovely and there are so many things to do. New Zealanders were so friendly that they often talked to me. They always looked enjoying their life and made me feel peaceful. I really liked to see them enjoying something. Wellington is a compact city that you can walk to the waterfront, the mountain and the centre of the city. You will find the favorite way to spend your days in Wellington.


I could make lovely friends in Campbell. We can get acquainted with the students who are not our classmates because they are our friend’s friends! There are some activities in Campbell and we can talk many students. In short, Campbell gives us many chances to make friends. Studying English in New Zealand was a good decision for me. I met beautiful people and I keep in touch with them. I had a really great time there. I want to come back to New Zealand one day.


I love New Zealand. I love Wellington. I want to come back here one day. To my teachers, thank you for helping me learn English. To my friends, I’m so lucky to be your friend. Please keep in touch. See you again. Thank you very much.


“Hi everyone. I wish to stay here longer but I need to go back to study at my university in Japan. This is my first time in New Zealand also the first time been traveling alone. Actually, I didn’t know much about New Zealand until I came here. However, when I arrived here, I felt the people were lovely and there were so many interesting things to do. I’d say I love New Zealand. I love Wellington. I want to come back here one day. I also want to say thank you to all my teachers for improving my English. For my friends at Campbell, I’m so lucky to be your friend. Please keep in touch. See you again. Thank you very much.”

Eri – Japan

Laura’s Farewell Speech

I remember the first two days I arrived here in New Zealand. I was so exciting but at the same time I felt so alone and literally started crying every night, wondering if I really made the right choice by leaving all my family and friends behind. But my orientation week started and that gave me a huge motivation boost because all the people I met were so open and friendly. And I guess we have to admit we all were a bit homesick at the beginning so we were really glad to have each other.


I soon realised that this school had a special atmosphere. It never really felt like “school“, it is more like a place to hangout with your friends and teachers while improving your English. I have to say that I have never experienced such a great teacher-student relationship. I guess the key to your success is that students don’t really have that much pressure as they may have in their home country. For me it was that I respected my teacher in such a positive way that I simply didn’t want to disappoint her in not doing what she asked me to do that’s why I always did my homework which was definitely not the case in Germany. The other thing is: you are here by choice so you want to make the best out of your time. And i suggest that you really do that.

Over the past 3 months I examined the teachers reactions when students were reading out their farewell speeches and it was heartwarming to see that nearly every Friday someone started crying from joy or at least teared up which actually happened to me all the time 😀 At the beginning of my school time I said to myself that I don’t want to hold a speech and that I’m just going to say thanks and that’s it, but that definitely changed over the time. Now I’m of the opinion that this is one of the best ways to honour your teacher and they definitely deserve to hear all of this over and over again so that they never forget why they are here and how much they are being appreciated. With that being said: Liz you are an amazing human being and it was so much fun being in your class. And just keep doing what you do because you really brighten up our days. Same for you, Claire. Although I’ve only been in your class for 2 weeks but you have a great and outstanding personality. So cheers to you guys.


Last but not least I want to say thank you to all the wonderful people I met along the line. Thanks to you I’m able to tell so many awesome stories when I get back to Germany. You were able to always cheer me up and it’s just such a good feeling when you know that you have people around you supporting you in everything you do or want to achieve in the future. Remember when I said I used to cry the first nights because I felt alone? Now I cry in my bed because I will miss all of you so much.

Thank you & see you soon


Japanese blogger’s week at Campbell

Ayumi pictures

English New Zealand hosted Japanese blogger Ayumi Murayama at six NZ English Language schools in NZ in August and September. Campbell was lucky to be one of the schools selected for this programme.

While in Wellington Ayumi attended regular classes at Campbell and in the evenings and weekend she was able to experience what makes Wellington the cultural, arts and film capital of New Zealand. Activities included a visit to Te Papa, the world-famous Embassy Theatre, Weta Workshop, The Lux Light Festival, and Wellington Night Markets. Ayumi also ate at restaurants featured as part of Visa Wellington on a Plate, and watched ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ ballet at the St James Theatre. Check out her pictures and blog posts from her trip there.

I love it here! I’m very interested in art and design, and there are so many historical buildings. I like the mix of old western culture and other cultures which have brought somethings to the city. There are lots of very open and artistic people. People here spend a lot of money on art and welcome those artistic minds.

I like Campbell because of the mix of academic and fun aspects of studying the language. I’m not good at making friends, but at Campbell, I’ve made lots of friends!

Campbell has a really welcoming atmosphere.

Ayumi Murayama – Japan

Ayumi with camera

While she has been here, she has also been writing blog posts as part of her trip. You can read all of her posts here blog or on her facebook page.