Lea-Sophie, Schuljahr an der Havelock North High School

Kiaora everybody!!!

Hello from New Zealand! This is me Lea-Sophie writing :) I am an international student enjoying her last days in New Zealand. I have been living and studying at Havelock North High School for a year. Sadly this experience is coming to an end now and I soon have to take my suitcases out of my wardrobe and then it will be time to board the plane back to Germany again. I still can't believe that my time here is soon going to be over and I already know now, how much I am going to miss everything here. It was definitely the right decision to stay for a whole year...So if you are a student, thinking if you should stay just for 6 months or a whole year in a different country, then, if it is possible, I can just advise you to stay for one whole year. You get much more out of your stay, because often it takes quite a long time to find friends and to settle in your new home. Friends of mine, also international students, who had to leave after 6 months, are all hoping to stay longer or regretting that they can’t.

My year here in New Zealand has been just awesome... I have travelled quite a lot (this is definitely a must, who knows when you will be coming back to your exchange country) and have really enjoyed living in a host family. I have participated in several cultural groups, like bands, choirs or house events and it has been just great doing that! I have done so many things which I could never have done back in Germany. And going to a country, where the language you want to learn is spoken, helps such a lot with improving your language skills!!!

In the last few weeks I have participated in as much outdoor education as I could possibly have: So I went black water rafting, rafting, paint balling (there is no age restriction in NZ:)yes!!!), tramping, surfing, kayaking and much more. I also took part in several Maori cultural activities like flax-weaving, Kapa Haka and bone carving. I never really got bored here in Down under, in fact I am running out of time to say goodbye to so many people. I gained such a lot from this year, not only experience, but also was it very helpful for my personality and character!!!

If you have got the possibility to go on an exchange year, don't hesitate, just do it!!! It is awesome!!!

But to start from the beginning... I am feeling actually quite comfortable in my family. Sometimes I am homesick, but I can't do anything against it. It just comes and goes. But there are also very, very good things I am doing here in New Zealand, like Rafting, Kayaking, Surfing and lots of other things. My family and I are going to Australia this week, so this will be very fun, too. I am looking forward to that.

As I already said, the first weeks were a little bit of up and downs, I am starting to get into the everyday life with my family. They are very nice, by the way. It was my hostsisters birthday yesterday and it is quite nice to get to know some New Zealand birthdays and my hostfamily is also quite happy, that I show them some German traditions:) (like cooking or baking something).

The school is totally different compared to Germany, but I keep quite busy. I am in two Orchestra bands with my flute, in the musical of the school as an extra, in the volleyball team and do lots of other things at school :)

I can't really say what my best experience was. Sometimes, there are small and big things, which made me happy. But the outdoor education days were really one of the best days and the biggest challenge I think is still not to miss my friends and family in Germany too much and try not to think, that it will get autumn soon.

I didn't have had really big problems, just some small ones, but which where easy to solve :)