About us

NZIIU or the New Zealand Institute of International Understanding is a stand-alone, non-profit, charitable trust approved by the Ministry of Education.

Our Mission

To promote international understanding through programmes that encourage educational and cultural exchange abroad.

Meet the Team

Yasuko Nishiyama

General Manager
Yasuko started as the Assistant General Manager of NZIIU in April 2008 then became the General Manager in 2010. She has worked in the New Zealand tourism industry since 1997.  In particular Yasuko has an affinity for the education sector of tourism and still enjoys it to this day.  She has travelled overseas widely and enjoys seeking new and exciting destinations so as to experience different cultures.

Seiko Miyazaki

International Student Manager
Seiko joined NZIIU in June 2010. She has the responsibility for managing all arrangements for FFP (full fee paying) students studying in New Zealand and is directly taking care of all FFP students in North Island.  She is very experienced in the tourism industry both in Japan and in New Zealand and has handled many educational tours. Seiko has enjoyed working as a student counsellor and taking care of students.

Michelle Kinraid

Administrator/ Homestay Manager
Michelle works alongside Sue Hooper in our Christchurch office. Michelle is primarily involved with both short term groups and inbound longer term exchange students, she is also responsible for printing all student workbooks and supporting our Auckland Office.  Michelle has a particular responsibility for supporting exchange students and host families based in Christchurch and has worked for NZIIU for 14 years in roles including ESOL tutor, Inbound Tour Coordinator and Regional Home Stay Manager.

Atsushi Yamauchi

Short-Term Study Tour Supervisor
Atsushi joined NZIIU in May 2016. Atsushi is responsible for organising short-term student programmes. This involves arranging itineraries, host schools, host families and local activities. He is very experienced in the tourism industry both in Japan and New Zealand and has handled many education tours. He has lived in NZ for over 20 years and enjoys travelling, playing tennis and trekking.


David Koh

Accounts Manager
David has worked as the Accountant for NZIIU for almost 10 years. He is a Provisional Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of New Zealand, based on his degree and his commercial and accounting experience. His wide-ranging job covers areas such as payments to our homestay families and to schools for the hire of facilities as well as the regular invoicing which is part of any such organisation.

Erin Bowers

Short-Term Study Tour Coordinator
Erin works alongside Atsushi to organise short-term study tours for school groups across Asia. This involves arranging itineraries, host schools, host families and local activities. She started as an intern in 2018 and joined the team permanently later in the same year. Erin has a degree in Japanese and Social Science from AUT and enjoys dance, travel and scuba diving. She is passionate about Japan, Asian culture and the environment and is excited to be part of creating great overseas experiences for students.

Kana Aoyama

Short-Term Study Tour Coordinator
Kana joined NZIIU in February 2019. She coordinates short-term programs for overseas students which includes arranging itineraries, host schools, host families and local activities. She has lived in Auckland for over 10 years and has worked in the tourism industry as a tour guide and school coordinator. She is very familiar with various study programs in New Zealand and has sound knowledge in tourism. She has also studied abroad in 2006 completing a course in tourism and English in Australia. Her hobbies include travelling, food and exercising at the gym, especially kickboxing and yoga.

Megan Welch

Study Tour Coordinator
With experience working in the Outbound Exchange department, Megan brings her marketing and writing skills to the Inbound Study Tour team. Born in South Africa, raised in New Zealand and having lived in the UK and Japan, Megan appreciates all the ups and downs that come with living and travelling overseas, and is always ready to help students make the most of this wonderful opportunity. She is also a qualified ESOL teacher with experience teaching English in Japan.

Aiko Sakurai

Liaison Officer for FFP Students
Aiko works alongside Seiko to coordinate FFP (full fee paying) programmes. This involves supporting students throughout the application process, as well as taking care of all FFP students in the North Island. She attended a New Zealand high school while completing her secondary education. This has given Aiko a special understanding of the NZ school system and what students go through while studying overseas. Having experienced life as an international student, Aiko is passionate about helping students have a wonderful and life-changing experience in New Zealand.