Heather Campbell – Philadelphia
My experience at Wellington High School has left such a fantastic impact on me that it will last indefinitely. Throughout the whole process of applying and registering, both the programme and the school was very helpful, making the application process simple and stress-free. Wellington High School has an impeccable International Programme. The amount of support and encouragement from the International Office staff made me feel welcome and instantly part of the school community. Wellington High School is a very diverse school, with a large range of courses and extra-curricular activities. The teachers and staff at the school were all very helpful and did a wonderful job of making me feel like I had attended the school since Year 9. On my first day of school I got my “Kiwi Buddy” who was absolutely lovely. She took me along to all her classes and included me, as well as just showing me what a day at school was like for her. On my first day of classes, all of my teachers and classmates were very friendly and helped me catch up on what I had missed. The classes I took were Year 12 Photography, Physics, History, Classics, Advanced Mathematics, and Spanish. I enjoyed every single one of my classes. Photography had been something I was very interested in, but had not had the opportunity to learn, but the teacher, Mr. Gordon, taught me how to use a DSL as well as an SL camera and taught me what makes a successful photograph. My Physics teacher, Mr. McGlashan, made Physics an enjoyable science to learn. His Physics class gave me a higher knowledge of Forces in Electricity and Magnetism, which helped, because I had a much easier time catching up with what I had missed in my Physics class back at my school in Philadelphia. History, in particular, was one of my favourite classes. In Mr. Steel’s history class I had the opportunity to learn about the Russian Revolution and some of New Zealand’s history, which is not something my school back in Philadelphia teaches. Classics was also another class that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Classics is not a course that my school in Philadelphia offers, so I really enjoyed learning about the daily life of the ancient Romans and the activities that Ms. Harvey had planned to make it more interactive. For Maths, while I had learned some of what we went over before, it was really nice to review it all and Ms. Weston really solidified it all for me. My Spanish class was really fun. Señorita Henriquez always made the class enjoyable and taught me a lot of vocabulary that I had forgotten or did not know before. It was nice to continue my studies in Spanish, even though I was away from my school and normal Spanish curriculum. All of my classmates were really kind and made me feel very much a part of the class. I had a fantastic time working in the library on a project for Classics with two of my classmates, and I like to think the project turned out really well too. In Physics, my classmates were all really helpful when I didn’t quite understand a principle or in helping me understand something I had missed in the previous unit. I also enjoyed practising speaking in Spanish with my classmates in Spanish Class. While I was at Wellington High School, I participated in the rock climbing club and the Ultimate Team for a wee bit. I also played in the senior volleyball team, which was heaps of fun. All of my teammates were marvellous and so wonderful to play with. Since volleyball is a really big part of my life back in Philadelphia, it was really nice to be able to play with the team at Wellington High School. I chose to come to New Zealand because I am not too good at learning new languages and I didn’t want to be set back in my schooling in Philadelphia. I didn’t want to go to the UK because that was too familiar with many of my relatives living there. I am very glad that I chose New Zealand because I had a truly magnificent time at Wellington High School and in Wellington, made some amazing friends, and got to be a part of my lovely host family’s family. My host family was just an amazing family. They made me feel right at home instantly.
I had two adorable little host sisters and a fabulous host mum and dad. They really included me in their family and genuinely took an interest in me and made me feel at home. On my second day with them, they took me to a volleyball game because they had heard I played volleyball, and they went to my first volleyball game, which was so kind of them. I really enjoyed having family dinners and playing Connect Four with my host sisters. I also got to go down to Nelson with my little host sisters to visit their grandparents, which was so nice that they extended their hospitality to me as well. I am so grateful that I got to be a part of their family and I can’t wait till I get to see them again. Wellington is also an amazing city. My favourite aspect of the city is how diverse yet compact it is. I lived near Seatoun and just had a short walk to Worser Bay, and Wellington High School is located right in the city, and only a minutes walk from Courtney Place; so I had the beach and the city all within a bus ride and walking distance. Being in New Zealand was a fantastic experience which is not one I’ll forget. I got the opportunity to go a fabulous school, make wonderful friends, and stay with a superb host family, and the staff in the International Office really did an excellent job in making sure that I enjoyed my short 5 and a half months in New Zealand.