International Website

Andrea Castellanos – Guatemala

Well….I’m from Guatemala, a beautiful country in Central America. It’s really hot over there, and we speak Spanish, not Mexican as everyone thinks. I have been here for ten months. It took me around 28 hours to get to New Zealand, and yeah, I got sent to a very different place from the one I’ve lived in my whole life. Leaving home, friends, family and my lifestyle wasAndrea Castellanos – Guatemala really hard, but my new friends, host family and teachers made it heaps easier.

New Zealand is more than I expected. Before I came I was expecting a country full of blonde people with pretty lives…but NO! People in New Zealand have a calmer life than people in Guatemala, and of course not all of them are blonde with blue eyes!

Everything here is so different from my country. The weather…here was the first winter of my life! And I saw snow for the first time in NZ! And yeah, as everyone says it’s the only country where you can get four seasons in one day.

Being an exchange student in NZ is AWESOME! I’m enjoying every single moment here. Being in NZ is just a new experience every day. I have learnt a lot from the things I have done here. It’s not just about the language, I also learnt about different countries and cultures, and one of the most important things is that I got a chance to know myself better.

Now I have a different view of my life and myself. I love my school. Here in NZ I had just 5 subjects, but back at home we have 14, all compulsory, so I think the students here are quite lucky. I wouldn’t meet a lot of friends if it wasn’t for school. I also love my teachers. They are more than just a teacher to me, they are good friends!

I love being the first Guatemalan student in Wellington High! Almost all the students were really nice to me, and I really like how they were always keen for a party, and how Kiwis try to do their best for a better country. I will never forget NZ: the Cookie Time biscuits, the fish and chips, L&P, the ice-cream, pavlova, the beautiful beaches, the sheep, the hills and my favourite thing….my electric blanket….always on! I can’t believe how fast time has gone…time goes incredibly fast when you are having a great time! I have found souls in NZ family and friends that I never thought I could love so much! Thank you very much to my host school, my host family, and to all my friends for making my experience unique and unforgettable.