Judith Ketteler berichtet vom Orewa College - Orewa (Nordinsel / Neuseeland)

Kia Ora and Kia Orana to everyone!

Spending half a year in Aotearoa- the country of the long, white cloud- taught me lots of new things I have never considered. It all started on July 9th in Frankfurt where I met lots of other nervous and curious students on their way to the country we could only dream of - till now. After an endless flight we arrived in Auckland, the biggest city of New Zealand, where all International students got introduced to the different life style people at the other end of the world have.

 At the beginning of my time everything felt strange and unusual: the different temperature, surrounding, family, house and friends. In the first week some of my friends I already got to know in Germany were staying with me in a let’s say pretty stressed-out ‘welcome’-family but we all survived it whereas we spent most of the time at an introductory course (teachers told us about NZ habits, went horse riding and to the rainforest with us)or exploring the exciting city.

After 7 days I had to say goodbye to all people I got to know in this short time and moved to my ‘real hostfamily’(about 40km North from Auckland), who was very lovely right from the beginning. My hostmum showed me around and there were a few days left until school started which helped me to get used to the family life and work out the as I found out later unbelievable short way to the beach. My first days at school were connected with trips to a honey and sheep farm as well as choosing the subjects. Every student at my school was allowed to choose 7 subjects with the condition that one of them has to be English. This is what made it easier for me to try some of the wide range of subjects. At the end I took French, Maths, English, History, Fabrics (sewing), NZ Experience and Maori. The last two subjects were only offered for International students and taught us about the first inhabitants, culture and the country today. Soon I found new friends, people introduced me to each other and helped me having a wonderful time abroad. My school was not that strict as others but still all students had to wear uniforms in the colours of the College, attend to form class or assembly 20 minutes before lessons started and were not allowed to show the sympathy between different sexes too much. Everyone belonged to one of the 5 different houses and was pretty serious about any (sport) competitions between those.

Other important things for Kiwis are:

The way they call themselves, the animal and the fruit.

Rugby – you either admit that the All Blacks are the best team ever or you are dead.

BYO parties and  restaurants where nobody buys any drinks but has to bring as much as he wants to drink.

The 21st birthday is still the most important day even though young people are already allowed to drink alcohol at the age of 18.

NZ’s landscape is absolutely beautiful, however, Auckland does not fit into this picture because of its many inhabitants that make it to the almost only bigger city

At Christmas time you HAVE TO go camping.

English traditions and American politics.

However not only school and people influenced my life down there but also my travels made it an unforgettable time. During the 6 months in the land of my dreams I had the great opportunity to fly to one of the Cook Islands, Rarotonga, experience a tropical holiday for the very first time in my life and visit places, others only see in their honeymoon.

Planning the various domestic trips, for example to Wellington, the capital and the South Island made me way more independent and learn to stand on my own two feet than anything else before. But most importantly it was all worth it. Trust me I saw the most beautiful and awesome part of the world, far more impressive in nature than on photos.

The other highlights of my stay were definitely the caring hostfamily with whom I am still having a great relationship, getting to know so many, interesting personalities and last but not least the bungy jump, which I at first was not willing to do but a friend of mine persuaded me. Luckily!

This was for sure the biggest and greatest step I have ever done myself and I can only recommend it to anyone to take the chance and spend as much time as possible abroad. Maybe even in a country you have always dreamed of? And to my mind it is also truely recommendable to choose a caring and professional organisation- just like GIVE- to make sure that there is always someone to help you with any problem and someone to ask if you ever feel helpless!


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