20 Sep 2017

Two well-known South Korean actors have hit Christchurch with their children to film a reality television show that will be broadcast to millions.

Korean actors Jaehee and In-kwon Kim with their children and some of the students from Halswell School. 

Jaehee and In-kwon Kim, who have appeared in numerous Korean television shows, have been in the city along with their kids and a film crew to shoot for a TVN Korean programme called Change the Class.

The programme follows famous actors and their children as they visit schools in other countries to experience education and lifestyle abroad.

ChristchurchNZ International Education Programme Manager Bree Loverich said ChristchurchNZ had been hosting the families and crew, as they attended Halswell Primary School to shoot eight episodes of the show.Jaehee is in Christchurch with his seven-year-old son Raon, while In-kwon is accompanied by his two daughters Jayoung, 11, and Minkyung, nine.

“The actors and their families get to experience first-hand the difference in culture between Korea and New Zealand. This is also a great opportunity to showcase Christchurch’s education system, as well as the wonderful lifestyle our city offers to visitors and residents. Having this programme broadcast potentially through Asia is a real coup.”

She said the actors are famous in Korea and China, with a possibility that the episodes will be translated into Chinese. Korean television is also very popular in Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Turkey and other Asian countries.

“Although the show’s purpose is not specifically to promote our international education sector, it is a fantastic bonus for us. The Korean and Chinese markets are important for international education, as well as to our visitor market in general. The interest this will generate about Christchurch and the wider region is invaluable.”

China is Canterbury’s largest international student market, while Korea comes in fourth. Both countries also contribute strongly to the region’s visitor economy, with 46,560 Chinese and 19,664 South Korean visitors for the year ending July 2017.

Filming for Change the Class will finish this week. It will air in October.