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Moritz Rehbein – Kiel, Germany

Hi, my name is Moritz and I am an exchange student from Germany – I came to New Zealand to improve my English. About one and a half years ago I had the idea to participate as an exchange student. The countries I first were interested in were Canada, Australia and New Zealand. But my decision to choose New Zealand was quick because of some points: “ New Zealand has the most amazing countryside, the people are kind and relaxed, and of course one point was that New Zealand is so far away from my country”.

At the beginning I didn’t know what to expect about my homestay. My host mother picked me up with her two children at the airport, they are 12 and 7 years old. They drove home with me and there I met my host father and my host brother who also was an exchange student. The household of my NZ family is not like my family in Germany. It’s more an “easy going” household. When I started to spend the first hours alone in my room I started to think about everything that I had left behind. That is the reason why I started to feel homesick, but my host mother helped me with this feeling. I feel really happy with my homestay family, I learnt from them to stand on my own feet, I can do whatever I want to do.

The New Zealand school system is pretty different from the German one. First of all, the biggest difference is the size of the classes, in Germany there are about 30 students in a class, which means that the teachers don’t have time to focus on individual students. My first impression of Wellington High School was that school is very easy and not as strict as my school in Germany. I had some problems with the language when I first came to school, I wasn’t able to understand the Kiwi accent and I also was in trouble with my treasury of words. Therefore I didn’t get in the classes that I was supposed to. However everyone in my classes was relaxed and kind.

The food in New Zealand is not so different to the food in Germany. The food I eat with my homestay family is excellent. It is different to what I eat in Germany. At my homestay every night I eat a freshly cooked and healthy dinner. In Germany I often had take away food or just bread for dinner or we would often go to restaurants.

The Kiwis are very kind and helpful people. If I had problems in school with the exercises I was supposed to do I just had to ask my classmates for help. In town when I get lost everybody was kind and tried to give me direction.

The countryside of New Zealand is the most amazing one in the whole world. It is not really possible to compare it with Germany. To try as a European to describe the countryside of New Zealand you would say that New Zealand has landscape like Ireland, Norway and Scotland, and the European Alps. But to compare the countryside of New Zealand so easily with the European one is not fair for the Kiwis, because the landscape here is so unique.