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Nanetta Ruf – Bad Nauheim-Steinfurth


The decision was made and on the 10th of July, 2007 I was at the airport leaving my home country for 6 months to go to New Zealand. I was kind of scared; it would be 30 hours alone on the plane to go somewhere where I didn’t know anything or anybody. But, as I arrived, all that fear was for nothing. At the airport I got picked up by the coordinator who spent some time with me until my homestay mother finished work. I was really excited to meet her and I came into this wonderful family that gave me the perfect start. But then, unfortunately, I had to change to my real host family as they returned from family. Luckily they turned out to be really nice as well, so the only hurdle that remained was the start of school.

I started school with no problems, as for the first few days we got school buddies that took us to their classes and around school, and even though my buddy was really quiet and didn’t talk much, it was good to get an impression of the school.

After a few days we had to choose our subjects, I was kind of lost because I didn’t know anything about the subjects and I never had to choose subjects at home. It would have been easier to choose if I would have known that the Art, Music and Drama classes were the strong subjects, but if I didn’t like my subjects I could change them easily.

I really enjoyed my time at Wellington High, for me it was really different and everything more relaxed so that I had more time to spend with my new friends. I made some good friends as well as met many internationals. Nearly everyday after school we met, and we learnt a lot of new things, like new phrases such as: sweet as” “sweet as what?” which is not sweet, but it means it’s very cool. How could I have known that? But, I didn’t know the slang, but you learn it, and that’s why you are here, pretty cool, aye?

I think I learnt a lot, probably not in the sense of academic study as I chose more creative subjects, but in the daily interactions with people. I think the most important thing for me was that I got to be more independent and I made a lot of friends from all over the world. I’m sure I’ll meet some of them again, especially if the Kiwi girls visit Germany next year, and I’ll meet my Italian friend for her birthday.

Even if it’s years from now we can think and remember all the nice things we did together, like going to the South Island for a trip, the Outdoor Education trip to Rotorua or even crazy things like swimming in the sea in winter, or just deciding in the morning to cut off my dreads in the evening. I will always remember these nice and crazy things. I think New Zealand was one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life.