John Hodgson comes from a career in teaching. In 2003 he and his wife went to China to teach English in Nanchang (Jiangxi Province) where they taught for four years making many connections particularly in education. John was very keen to establish a student work experience programme for students from China to New Zealand and at that time laid foundations for future student exchanges.
Back in Tauranga John joined the NZCFS and soon became involved with committee activities. He strongly believes in the importance of involving young people in the NZCFS and has helped develop a programme of reciprocal school exchanged between schools in Nanchang and in Rotorua and Tauranga which it is hoped will develop even more widely between Jiangxi and the Bay of Plenty. A key element of these exchanges is the wide sharing into their local community of their China experience that NZ students do on their return to New Zealand and for this there is the NZCFS Tauranga Youth Awards Dinner.
John believes that the future of New Zealand’s positive relations with China lies in our young people gaining an increasingly better understanding of China and her people, culture and commerce and this particularly through the reciprocal exchanges involving epals, family hosting, schooling and researching into various disparate aspects of Chinese culture. He believes in the value of involving local business and community funding agencies to support the annual exchange programme this via the NZCFS Youth Awards Programme.