International Website

Student Stories

Rebecca Lieberum – Immenhausen, Germany

Becca (pictured second right) on an Outdoor Education trip in the middle of the North Island.

I still cannot put all of this in words! It has been a year now but it does not feel like a whole year, more as nine months. This year has been a fast, eventful and emotional rollercoaster. And now I am back in Germany, trying to get back at normal.

To be honest, I have always dreamed to come to New Zealand since five years and I knew I want to go to Wellington because it seems to me to be a city with typical city life- business, shops and skyscrapers, but on the other hand it has nature around it. It seems very mixed up with both people and the sea nearby. What I did not know was that Wellington is one of the windiest places in the world! I almost got blown away. But it should not scare you… One time you will become resistant to the wind or even miss it! To put it in a nutshell, Wellington is the most beautiful city I have ever seen! The people, the atmosphere and the lifestyle is the most beautiful and peaceful place I have ever been. I never felt unsafe in Wellington. Once I walked home from town. It took about one and a half hours, but it was the best I could do. I saw so much and the people were so friendly! I always had to smile.

I loved being part of Wellington High! The school is very liberal and open-minded. Everyone respects you, it does not matter who you are. The school is not the smallest but it feels great to part of something big. Not only at school, also with the other internationals. We all come from other countries and speak different languages, but we were in this together. We all left our families, to live together with another family for a temporary time. We all wanted to improve our English and to have the best time in New Zealand. We grew together and now I have family around the world!

Wellington High School gives you the best opportunities because I think you won’t find a better school which is so tolerant, easy going, cool and a place to have fun!
I love our International Department, I do not think, there would be a better one. They are all lovely. They always listen to you and help you. They do not care how often you stop by, they are always happy to see you. A friend and I wanted to travel to the South Island in the holidays and usually you have to travel with an adult or as a group with a tour guide. But both did not work out. Our family had to work and the tour was too expensive. They listened to us and tried their best to find a way to do the trip. And it worked out! They organized a host-family where we stayed for a few nights and during the day we could see the city. It has been so awesome and I am so happy that there has always been people who have our backs, supporting us and are there for us.

This year has been indescribable. I literally would love to back and to have it as normal as it has been over there. It has been an adventure with the loveliest people I have ever met!

Kun Peng Zhao – Jinan, Shandong, PR China

大家好,我的名字是赵鲲鹏,来自山东济南。我来到美丽的惠灵顿学习已经三年了,现在是惠灵顿高中的一名高三毕业生。在惠灵顿学习生活的三年中,我不仅收获了知识,也收获了友谊和宝贵的人生经历。在学校,灵活的制度使得我可以自由选择自己想要上的课;从艺术史到生物,从体育到数学,从农业到音乐,一切都由你的兴趣决定。在课堂上,老师总是鼓励我们自己动手,自己讨论,自己解决,但却又能在我们最需要的时候提供必要的帮助,使我受益匪浅。在课外,惠灵顿各种丰富的生活使得周末和假期充实不已。爵士音乐节,美食节,艺术展…各种活动数不胜数。当然,惠灵顿的美景也是我们繁忙生活当中最好的慰藉。在寄宿家庭里,寄宿父母带着我们体验最原汁原味的新西兰生活,看英式橄榄球,参加家庭烧烤,自己动手做饭,在家里的生活也一样精彩。如果你也想要一个自由开放的学习环境,丰富多彩的文化生活,还有友善舒适的居住环境,那么惠灵顿和惠灵顿高中一定是你的最佳选择。

 

赵鲲鹏在13年级获得了校长优秀奖三等奖,此奖只颁发给学业成绩排名全校前6名的学生。

他在13年级的数学微积分课程中排名第一。

他赢得了2016年和2017年的国际大使奖。

他与新西兰政府高层官员分享了作为国际留学生的心得体验。

他在NCEA level 1和 NCEA level 2 考试中获得了优等成绩,目前正在等待NCEA level 3 的考试结果。

现在,他正在计划去奥克兰大学或墨尔本的一所大学学习工程专业。

 

Xinyue Zhao – Henan Province, PR China

我叫赵欣悦,我来自河南安阳。我在惠灵顿高中度过了非常愉快的两年时光。我非常喜欢并且享受在惠灵顿的日子。

惠灵顿高中的所有的老师和同学都对我非常友好,让初到新西兰的我感到非常亲切并且很快的融入到这个环境。特别是国际部的老师们,在生活上和学习上都给予了我很大的帮助。我住在温馨的寄宿家庭,他们帮我学习并且给我做家乡的美食。我学习了科学类的课程和音乐课程在惠灵顿高中,并且从中受益颇多。物理化学课上,我们做很多实验,从中理解公式原理然后解决问题。生物课上,我们去动物园实践观察所有的动物行为,为我们的考试做准备。我最喜欢的是音乐课,我可以学习很多不同种类的音乐,我在学校的音乐节上和别的同学一起组乐团在舞台上演出。我感觉到非常自由和快乐。就连我最不擅长的英语课,老师都非常耐心的帮我改论文,纠正我的发音。我觉得我在惠灵顿高中学习到了很多不一样的东西。

惠灵顿是一个很适合学习和生活的城市,它具有很浓厚的文化底蕴和美丽的风景。在这个文艺的城市里,你会感觉到放松但充实。我喜欢惠灵顿,我更爱惠灵顿高中

 

Mathilde (Mati) Campioni – Como, Italy

Mati (pictured left), after doing the all night Relay for Life to raise money for cancer survivors with her friends from Germany and Switzerland.

Mi chiamo Matilde, ho 17 anni e sono italiana, vivo a Como che è una città nel nord Italia, famosa perché si trova su un lago. Nel 2016 ho deciso che volevo andare per dieci mesi in Nuova Zelanda e ho iniziato a prepararmi per un’esperienza che sapevo già mi avrebbe cambiato tantissimo. Non ho scelto come destinazione Wellington, ma la mia host family ha scelto me e ha deciso che avrei frequentato la Wellington High School.

Sono partita a luglio 2017, da Milano, ho fatto scalo a Dubai, Melbourne, Auckland e infine sono arrivata a Wellington. Come dire, il viaggio è già un’impresa, figurarsi quello che mi aspettava dopo!

 

I primi giorni ero un po’ disorientata, perché ero in questo paese completamente diverso dal mio, dove parlavano una lingua diversa e dove in generale le abitudini delle persone non erano quelle cui ero abituata nella mia vita italiana. Per fortuna ho iniziato la scuola subito (all’inizio ero un po’ depressa, perché chi vuole iniziare ad andare a scuola a luglio mentre tutti gli amici italiani sono al mare a scattarsi selfie? ma poi ho capito che era quello che ci voleva) e questo mi ha tenuto impegnata a non pensare troppo a tutte le persone che avevo lasciato a casa in Italia.

 

Nella mia scuola, Wellington High School, ci sono tantissimi studenti internazionali, che essendo nella mia stessa situazione, mi hanno aiutato a superare questo primo momento di smarrimento. È assolutamente normale e non bisogna spaventarsi, ma restare positivi, perché le cose migliorano molto in fretta. Sinceramente io, ero così eccitata per tutte le nuove avventure e scoperte che stavo facendo, che non ho mai sentito troppo la mancanza della mia famiglia e dei miei amici.

 

Ho fatto tantissime esperienze diverse, la mia famiglia mi ha portato dappertutto e mi ha fatto subito sentire a mio agio. Ora mi sento come se vivessi qui da sempre. Siamo andati a sciare, a fare passeggiate di più di un giorno nei bellissimi luoghi di questo paese, mi hanno portato alle Hawaii, ad alcuni show a teatro e mi hanno dato la possibilità di andare anche in barca a vela, che era uno sport che già praticavo in Italia. Con la scuola, invece, per la classe di outdoor education (la mia preferita!), sono andata a fare surf, kayak, snorkeling, scuba diving in piscina, nuoto e tantissime altre attività che la scuola italiana non si sogna neanche di fare.

 

La scuola è molto diversa da quella italiana, si possono scegliere le materie, cinque o sei, naturalmente è tutta in lingua inglese, inizia alle 8:45 o alle 10 di mattina (solo per chi fa 5 materie) e non si va durante il sabato. È anche molto più rilassata rispetto a quella italiana, non ci sono interrogazioni, le verifiche sono rare, perché ci sono gli esami alla fine dell’anno, che normalmente gli studenti internazionali non fanno e anche i compiti sono quasi inesistenti. Questo non vuol dire però che sia facilissima, il fatto che sia tutto in inglese la rende un po’ complicata e comunque bisogna sempre impegnarsi al massimo, perché abbiamo scelto di fare questa esperienza, non per rilassarci, ma per imparare qualcosa che ci ricorderemo per tutta la vita. All’inizio era strano andare a scuola qui, perché in Italia vado in una scuola cattolica, che non è troppo grande. WHS invece è enorme, ogni giorno vedo qualcuno che non avevo mai visto prima camminare per i corridoi ed è anche considerata molto libera, persino dai kiwi. Non ci sono tantissime regole, ci si può vestire come si vuole e ognuno ha la possibilità di esprimere se stesso nel migliore nei modi. È un ambiente dove ho conosciuto persone molto diverse da me e che probabilmente non avrei mai conosciuto se fossi rimasta tutta la mia vita in Italia. Sono davvero grata a questa scuola perché ora sento di avere la mente molto più aperta ad accettare persone cha hanno visioni del mondo diverse dalle mie e che sono davvero diverse da me. Ho conosciuto un sacco di persone da tutto il mondo, non solo kiwi, ma anche giapponesi, cinesi e persone da tutta Europa. La mia migliore amica, che ho conosciuto qui, è tedesca e stiamo già organizzando come fare per rivederci quando saremo tutte e due a casa in Europa. Le responsabili del dipartimento degli studenti internazionali sono fantastiche: Maria, Julie e Di sono sempre pronte ad aiutarmi se ho bisogno di qualsiasi cosa e si impegnano sempre perché noi studenti internazionali abbiamo la possibilità di vivere al meglio la nostra esperienza. Sono sempre disponibili e se un giorno ho un problema, durante la pausa pranzo vado da loro e il problema è subito risolto!

 

Inoltre, vivere a Wellington è meraviglioso, è la capitale neozelandese, ma non è enorme, quindi mi sento sicura ad andare dappertutto anche da sola e ci sono tantissime cose da fare e cose nuove da scoprire. Ogni weekend faccio qualcosa di diverso e annoiarsi non è proprio nel mio vocabolario.

 

Adesso mi mancano un mese e mezzo prima di tornare in Italia e non so se sono tristissima o felice, credo un misto di tutte e due. Da una parte inizia a mancarmi la mia famiglia, ma dall’altra mi viene da piangere a pensare che dovrò salutare tutti gli amici che ho conosciuto qui e la mia seconda famiglia, con la quale ho vissuto così tante avventure. Il consiglio che potrei dare a ogni nuovo exchange student è di cercare di prendere ogni possibilità offerta e buttarsi a fare ogni nuova esperienza, perché si ha la possibilità di conoscere tantissime nuove persone e alcune avventure si fanno solamente in Nuova Zelanda!

Hannah Spittler – Wurzburg, Germany

Hannah, far right, after receiving the first ever Leaving Certificate of Excellence with Distinction to recognise all the amazing opportunities she took and the contributions she made during her year at Welly High.

 

Kia Ora!

My year in New Zealand – studying at Wellington High School, while living with a host family in Wellington, has changed not only my life, but also me!

Thinking back, I have made hundreds of unforgettable memories, survived some of the craziest adventures and made friends for a life time!

Going to school at WHS gave me a completely new perspective on school and learning. With subjects like Outdoor Education (Out-ed), Photography and Hospitality I loved going to school. In a day I would do experiments in Physics and Biology, then after going to the swimming pool, rock climbing or longboarding along the waterfront in Out-education we finished the school day with a lesson in Hospitality, where I learned how to cook and bake a whole bunch of different dishes using different techniques while building up my knowledge around the kitchen. Apart from all the genius things you can lean here, the teachers are extremely nice, helpful and supportive.

Apart from “normal school” I was also able to join several clubs in school during lunch time and after school. For example I joined the tramping club, which gave me the opportunity several times to get out of town for a weekend and discover New Zealand’s native bush with others. Thinking back these adventures were a highlight of my exchange. I also loved being a peer supporter for the new Year 9´s which taught me a full range of tutoring skills and how to support others in the best way. That´s something I probably would have never learned in my German school. Through these and the other co-curricular activities I was involved in, I met a lot of new people and made some great friends.

Within the International Out-ed program I also had the opportunity to go with all my friends to TORA, Castle Point and Turangi where we did things like leaning to surf, diving for paua (a shellfish we ate afterwards), making a bonfire on the beach and eating marshmallows, going mountain biking, rock climbing and river rafting!

Throughout the year there were a whole bunch of ways to get out of town. I joined a North Island tour from an organisation in the first holidays. After Christmas I went on a trip to Sydney, Australia with my best friend where we watched the fireworks at New Year. Later I visited friends in Napier and Nelson, whom I met on the tour, I went camping with my family as well as visiting their relatives in Tauranga, going on Easter camp with my Youth Group, doing more tramping and then visiting friends and family in Auckland and Rotorua, which was awesome! One of the best things I did, was joining one of my friends, who started his own tramping club, on a weekend tramp to Mt. Taranaki and later on for a 5-day tramp in Nelson Lakes to do the Travers-Sarbine circuit. That was one of the coolest and craziest things I´ve done in my entire life!

After school, in my free time and on the weekends, spending time in Wellington was just the best! It´s not too big nor too small, just right so you can do pretty much everything you want to do! The bus system is, for New Zealand, amazing which means you are independent and can easily go out on your own! One of my favourite things were the Waterfront on a sunny day, rock climbing at Fergs, the Saturday market and the night markets! Apart from that this city has the best chocolate (Whittaker´s +Wellington chocolate), peanut butter (Fix&Fogg) and ice cream (Kaffe Eis) in New Zealand! (for me even the entire world!) And as a tip, research you interest and hobbies on Facebook and have a look around. There is so much to do and people are nice and welcoming, even if you are a bit younger! I joined an acrobatic yoga group with my friend, went to the Soup Kitchen to help there and joined the local tramping club. And on Friday nights it´s quite popular to go to Youth Groups which is an awesome place to make friends!

Here I´ve spent one of the best years of my life, I can totally recommend the experience. Use every opportunity and, don´t forget, you decide how awesome your experience is –  the more you give, the more you can get out of your experience! I´m already looking forward to the time when I come back in a few years. I love this place and it will be hard to say goodbye.

Constanza Perez Cornejo – Chile

Constanza Perez Cornejo, ChileWhat can I say after living such an amazing experience?
Well, I’m Coni , I’m 16 years old , I’m from Chile and I can say that I just lived the most incredible five months of my life here in New Zealand.

It’s not just the place, it’s everything that I like about Wellington – the people, the culture, the food and even the busses!!

When I got here on February 11, everything was so different and new for me because I wasn´t in my home anymore, I was 12.000 km away from my hometown!.

At first I was so confused because manners are really different between Chile and New Zealand but I got used to it.

I’m really thankful to all the people that I met here, everyone helped me during the times I was homesick and sad. I especially have to thank the people who are in charge of the international students because during my first week in NZ, I was really sad.

I love the teachers at Wellington High School – they are all really patient and friendly with us because they are aware that English is not our first language.

The other thing that was helped make my exchange experience so good was my host family, I’ve a beautiful little host sister , an adorable host mum who’s a really great cook and a really nice host dad.

Thank you WHS for making this experience the best one of my life! <3

Alondra Arellano Hernadez – Santiago, Chile

Alondra Arellano Hernadez, Santiago, Chile

Alondra (in green) celebrating her 16th birthday with her international friends

Hello my name is Alondra and I am from Chile. I went to New Zealand February 19 and I remember the first day I went to Wellington High School. I was scared about what was coming, but at the same time I had a lot of enthusiasm about meeting new people and learning about this interesting new culture.

So my host family took me into the school and from the moment I saw it I didn’t believe I was about to study in such an amazing school. My family took me into the international room, where I met Maria, Di and Julia, the best international coordinators ever, because whenever you have a problem or if you need something, they will be there to help you.

I also remember that during the first week I was very impressed, because everything was totally new for me, the students, teachers and even the classes. Everything was more relaxed and fun. For example I had to choose my subjects, which is great, because you can choose whatever you want and you are good at, that gives you the opportunity to discover different skills you didn’t know you had.

At Wellington High School I have learned so many things about New Zealand and lived lots of amazing experiences, which I will never forget.

I would like thank the school for teaching me all these unforgettable lessons and especially for opening my mind and showing me that are many different ways to learn and work.

Linda Cervesato – Udine, Italy

English Version

My name is Linda, I’m 17 years old and I come from Italy, from Udine a city in the region of Friuli Venezia Gulia.

My life has totally changed since I came here in Wellington –  it got better!

The day of the departure is still clear in my mind, despite being three months ago. After a 5 hour car trip I arrived at Milan-Malpensa airport. I was nervous, anxious about my luggage, because I thought it was too heavy or might get lost! I was also scared because I realised I was going to the other part of the world alone….

All alone?  No, because Riccardo was with me, another Italian guy. I didn’t know Riccardo before and I didn’t know what to talk about with him, as I am a little bit shy and introverted with people I don’t know. However, in the end we became friends.

We checked our luggage in, farewelled our parents and passed through all the controls to get on the plane with Dubai as our destination. After 5 hours I arrived in Dubai and from there I went to Sydney.

It took 14 hours to get to Sydney and once I arrived there I continued to Auckland where I got on my last plane with Wellington as my destination. When I arrived in Wellington there was my host family waiting for me and they brought me home. As I got home I discovered that was another girl, Kiko from Tokyo, Japan at my homestay.  That evening I cried because I felt alone and I missed my parents and family. I also remember that I fell asleep straightaway because I was really tired from the journey.

The next day my host mother explained to me where I had to take the bus and the next day I went with Kiko to explore the city. I was scared because I didn’t know the city, I had to speak English and I was also confused because here in New Zealand they drive on the right-hand side .

The first days of school I was shivering because I didn’t know anybody or the place and there were many classrooms. I didn’t know where to go or how to find my classrooms. It was in those first days that I met some wonderful people who helped me and always helped me when I needed it. These people are – my Dean, Julia, the head of the international department – Maria, my ESOL teacher- Jenny and Simona a girl from Macedonia who helped me to find my classrooms. All these people, my teachers and the other international students made my stay here in Wellington a most beautiful and special memory.

In conclusion the first moments were really difficult, because I had to get to know the people who I was staying with, build myself a new routine, get to know the city, make new friends and live like a New Zealand girl. With time everything started to get easier and easier and I really started to enjoy every moment spent in Wellington.

The school really surprised me, as it works in a very different way from school in Italy. In Wellington, I could choose which subjects I wanted to study and, based on my personal timetable, I started school at 10 o’clock and I finished at 3.20 in the afternoon. The relationship with my teachers was really different, because here I could joke with teachers and they were always available if I was in need. Moreover all the classes have the necessary equipment for that subject, for example the biology classes have everything needed to carry out experiments.

In the beginning following the lessons was difficult because, if I missed a word, I missed everything. As time went by, I found my English improving, both speaking and listening.

Although I talked to my parents almost every day, I missed them a lot because I couldn’t bear the idea of watching them on the screen of my iPhone and not being able to hug them. I missed my friends, but not so much, because here I made new friend with whom I was really happy. I remember that during one of my ESOL classes I was standing in front of a world map with two other international students and we were showing each other the way we travelled to arrive in Wellington.  

With this experience I grew up! Now I feel more independent and I can make decisions by myself without asking my parents to help. Now I can easily move to another city without being scared of exploring the city or asking for information.

It was the little things like being in the city, making new friends and discovering a new way to learn that became my best moments!

 

Italian Version

Mi chiamo Linda, ho 17 anni e vengo dall’Italia, più precisamente da Udine che si trova in Friul Venezia Giulia.  La mia vita e’ cambiata totalmente da quando sono arrivata a Wellington, in meglio ovviamente!

Il giorno della partenza è un ricordo ancora vivo nella mia mente, nonostante siano passati tre mesi.

Dopo 5 ore di macchina insieme ai miei genitori sono arrivata all’aeroporto di Milano-Malpensa. Ero tesa, preoccupata per la valigia perche’ pensavo fosse troppo pesante o andasse perduta ed ero spaventata perche’ avevo realizzato che sarei andata dall’altra parte del mondo da sola. Proprio sola no, perche’ con me c’era un altro ragazzo sempre italiano, Riccardo, pero’ non lo conoscevo e non sapevo di cosa parlare con lui, dacche’ sono un po’ timida e chiusa con le persone che non conosco.

Lasciate le valigie, salutato i nostri genitori e passati i controlli sono salita sull’aereo direzione Dubai. Ci sono volute 5 ore per arrivare a Dubai e altre 14 per arrivare a Sydney. Da Sydney ho proseguito verso Auckland e da li ho  preso un volo locale e sono arriavta a Wellington.

All’aeroporto di Wellington la famiglia che mi ospitava è venuta a prendermi e mi ha portata a casa. Arrivata a casa ero terrorizzata perche’ non conoscevo nessuno e ho scoperto che c’era anche una ragazza giapponese, Kiko,  di Tokyo. Arrivata a casa ho anche realizzato che ci sono voluti 3 giorni di viaggio per raggiungere la Nuova Zelanda.

Ricordo che appena ero sola nella mia stanza mi sono messa a piangere perche’ mi sentivo sola e mi mancavano i miei genitori e i miei amici, ma ero talmente stanca per il viaggio e il fuso orario che quella sera mi sono subito addormentata. Il giorno seguente non avevo scuola e la mia host mother mi ha spiegato dove prendere il bus per andare a scuola o in centro citta’. Quel giorno sono rimasta a casa pero’ quello seguente sono andata in centro con Kiko  e anche questa volta ero quasi nel panico perche’ ero in una citta’ sconosciuta e dovevo per forza parlare inglese altrimenti non avrei avuto modo di avere informazioni o semplicemente comunicare con qualcuno. I primi giorni di scuola tremavo come una foglia perchè non conoscevo nessuno e tanto meno il posto in cui mi trovavo, che era enorme e pieno di aule,  non sapevo dove andare o come arrivare alla mia classe. E’ stato in questi gornri che ho conosciuto delle persone fantastiche che mi hanno aiutata e tutt’ora mi aiutano se sono in difficoltà e queste persone sono la mia dean Julia, la responsabile del dipartimento degli studenti internazionali Maria, la mia insegnante di ESOL Jenny e Simona una ragazza proveniente dalla Macedonia che i primi giorni mi ha fatto da guida attraverso  la scuola e mi ha mostrato dove si trovavano le mie classi. Tutte loro assieme ai miei insegnanti e gli studenti internazionali hanno reso la mia permanenza a Wellington un ricordo speciale e indimenticabile.

Insomma, i primi momenti sono stati duri perchè ho dovuto imparare a conoscere le persone con cui abitavo, le regole della casa, una nuova città, un nuvo modo di vivere.

Superati i primi giorni tutto è diventato più facile, mi sono costruita una nuova routine, mi sono fatta dei nuovi amici, ho imparato a conoscere la città e ho imparato a vivere come una ragazza neozelandese.

La scuola è la cosa che mi ha più colpita, nel senso che la scuola funziona i maniera completamente diversa dalla  mia scuola italiana. Ho potuto scegliere le materie che avrei voluto studiare e in base al mio orario personale iniziavo la scuola alle 10 del mattino, finivo alle 3.20 e non dvevo andare a scuola  il sabato. Il rapporto che avevo con gli insegnanti era molto diverso, qui in Nuova Zelanda potevo parlare e scherzare tranquillalmente con loro e se ero in difficoltà loro mi aiutavano senza problemi. Inoltre le classi erano dotate di tutto il materiale necessario alla materia come, ad esempio, le classi di biologia erano equipaggiate per poter svolgere degli esperimenti.

Svolgere le lezioni in inglese a volte è stato difficile perchè perdevo il filo del discorso se non capivo una parola, però questo con il tempo è passato e ora sono in grado di affrontare una lezione senza chiedere il significato delle parole.

Con l’andare dei giorni mi sono sentita sempre più sicura a girare per la città, parlare fluentemente in inglese, chiedere informazioni.

I miei genitori mi sono mancati molto in questi tre mesi, nonostante li sentissi quasi ogni giorno. Non sopportavo l’idea di vederli attraverso lo schermo dell’iPhone e non poterli abbrcciare. Mi sono mancati anche i miei amici, ma non molto a parte il mio migliore amico, perchè qui ho trovato delle persone meravigliose con cui condividere la mia cultura e le mie tradizioni. Mi ricordo che nei primi giorni ero in una classe di ESOL e io e un ragazzo indiano e  uno thailandese indicavamo sulla mappa del mondo dove abitavamo e quale tragitto abbiamo percorso per arrivare a Wellington.

Questa esperienza mi aiutata a crescere, perchè adesso mi sento più indipendente, riesco a gestirmi il tempo tra fare i compiti e potermi rilassare e riesco a prendere decisioni da sola, ragionando sulla situazione senza chiedere aiuto ai miei genitori. Adesso potrei trasferirmi in un’altra città senza aver troppa paura di chiedere informazioni o esplorare la città da sola. Sono le piccole cose come andare in città, stare con gli amici, provare nuove esperienze e scoprire nuovi modi di apprendere le cose che hanno costruito il mio migliore momento.

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.

Agustin Furey – Argentina

Una Experiencia Inolvidable

Hace ya cinco meses que llegue a Wellington y todavia me faltan cinco mas por recorrer. Durante estos primeros momentos vividos en esta ciudad he experimentado cosas extraordinarias que nunca en mi vida hubiera podido descubrir y disfrutar si me hubiera quedado en mi pais.
Recuerdo mi primer dia en Wellington cuando conoci a mi familia anfitriona. Nunca olvidare ese sentimiento de insertidumbre por saber: Como seran? Como me trataran? Por suerte rapidamente me integraron a sus vidas.
Fue bastante fuerte el shock cultural que tuve al llegar. Las dos cosas que mas me costaron al principio fueron: por un lado el acento y la forma de hablar que tienen los Kiwis (son un poco diferentes a el Ingles que yo aprendi en casa). Por otro lado tuve que aprender a mirar para el otro lado al crusar las calles ya que manejan al reves que en mi pais.
En cuanto al colegio, nunca me olvidare de mi primer dia en Wellington High School. No conocia a nadie y me sentia muy nervioso por esto. Poco a poco fui conociendo gente, y aunque me costo un poco, cada dia me doy cuenta de que tengo mas y mas amigos. Gran parte de esto se debe al exelente desempeño de los docentes. Dia a dia no solo hacen un gran esfuerzo por ayudarnos a progresar en el aspecto academico como aprendisaje de Ingles por emplo, pero tambien a integrarnos con el grupo. Otra cosa que realmente me gusto mucho fue el hecho de poder elegir las materias de mi interes ya que en el sistema de educacion de mi pais todos los alumnos tienen las mismas materias.
Son infinitas y variadas las experiencias que he vivido en mi nueva comunidad. Pero de algo estoy seguro, nunca me arrepentire de haber elegido Nueva Zelanda como mi destino.