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Student Voice

Hello new Internationals and other people        20150715_115440_800x600

My name is Nina and I’m from a small town in Switzerland, near Zurich. My big adventure here in New Zealand started in July; I can’t believe how time is flying! I’ve already done and seen so much, in New Plymouth itself as well as out of New Plymouth.

It’s a weird mix, on the one hand I feel like I’ve been here for only one or two months and on the other hand it feels like ages because everything has become so familiar!

I arrived without knowing anyone or anything here but with a huge portion of excitement, enthusiasm and openness.

Ever since I could think I’ve wanted to go on an exchange year, exploring a new country and its cultures. New Zealand always appealed to me and “attracted me magically”. Already after four months on the other side of the world I can say it was definitely one of my very best decisions to dare to leave my habitual environment for 12 months.

I love my host family and I also enjoy going to Spotswood College a lot. There’s a great atmosphere and lots of helpful, open and nice people – both staff and students – at this school, which facilitates the settling in hugely.

I really fell in love with the kiwi culture and the whole country!

It’s great to have so many different and variegated facilities available, especially outdoor activities. In my four months here I’ve already been to Whangamata, Auckland, Wellington, Hamilton, Rotorua etc.; I took part in skiing competitions on Mt Taranaki and Mt Ruapehu and I had my first little successes on the surfboard…

My host family shows me so many things and places, so that I experience the “real kiwi lifestyle”, which I appreciate a lot. From the beginning they gave me the feeling of being part of the family.

There are lots of people I want to thank. My parents who trust me enough to let me live on the other side of the globe, who enabled me the whole adventure financially and who I know I can count on even at 18’532km distance, my host family who supports and involves me wonderfully every day, Mrs Holland and Ms Janet who are always there for us Internationals, my agency whose work I’m very pleased with and all the other people here supporting me!

This must sound as if I’m leaving, all that thanking. Fortunately I’m not! I’m lucky enough to still have time left which will be full of great experiences and amazing moments, that’s for sure!

So here is my message to future Internationals: Enjoy, do as many things as possible and get the most out of your time, because it’s passing by so fast! I’m happy and thankful to still have almost eight months left!


2015 – a letter from Finn Marie Uhlenbruch … Finn recently returned home to Germany after three terms at Spotswood College

Hi … I have been in Germany for two weeks and I miss New Zealand more than I thought! It was so much easier with you and school sucks without my kiwi friends. Even though, I got used to the German day quite quickly, it didn’t take me too long to organise everything. School is ok and I am really glad that I prepared myself in New Zealand. The teachers are not nearly as nice but it is very stressful for them because they have to plan  the final exams for all of the subjects. It was good to see my friends again and I think it is the same as before. I changed heaps but only some of my attitudes, not my character! I have grown so much and I don’t even care about some things anymore because I know that they are not important for my life.

Thank you so much for your support as you were the people who taught me so many things about life! You were always there when I needed you and looking back at my time in New Zealand, I can say that it could not have been better. My English skills improved a lot and all my teachers are very impressed by my wide knowledge and my experience ( they say I got an accent by the way!). I’m going to give a speech in front of the whole school soon and everyone is looking forward to hearing me. I hope to hear from you soon and greetings to everyone at Spotty!! … Kisses


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Hi, my name is Maria Luiza and I’m from Brazil and I have been in New Zealand for ten months.My time here is nearly finished and it is hard to explain how I’m feeling about it. On one hand I’m looking forward to seeing my family and friends but on the other hand I am really sad to leave my new life, family and friends.
When I got here I thought I was crazy: “How can I live one year without my friends and family on the other side of theworld?” but well time just flew away! All those doubts of the beginning just disappeared in the moment when you start living your life here! Be prepared because this is going to be the best year of your life! This year will be filled of happiness, laughs, learning different culture, more learning and growing up. This year was the bestdecision I could ever make. Every moment that I lived here was priceless. I’m not saying that it is going to be easy, but it will be totally worth it, enjoy every moment and try to focus on your blessings because I’m telling you again time just flyand soon believe or not you are going to be me, writing your article saying the same thing :)
People in New Zealand are really friendly so don’t be afraid of talking with them. They just love internationalstudents and to share culture, you will have a great time with them. The other international students will be another familyfor you because they actually know exactly all the mixture of sensations that you are feeling. I got really close with the other internationals whowill be always in my heart. They were always there for me in any time that I needed it so thankyou for all.
My time here in Spotswood College has been special The people and the staff gave me all the support in many ways and I will be always thankful for that, but I want to say a huge thank you for Mrs Holland and Miss Janet for being one of my families and helping me in my good and not so good moments with all the patience and advice! They will be there for youevery time that you are naughty or every time that you need help or just a chat with a cup of coffee! To Miss Fitz a huge thank youfor making my days so much better with sense of humour, laughs and your kindness!
I got really close to my host family, that I nowjust call family! The Lovegrove& Guys, the families love to know the cultureand the best way for you to discover the kiwi life is through your family, so enjoy them because they have a lot to offer! They werethe ones that always had my back that treated me like a daughter, that I had the most incredible moments of my life!
They helped me when I wasn’t 100% and celebrated with me the good times, took me to places that I wanted to visit and made sure that I had a great experience and I will be forever thankful for every single thing!
My only advice?TRAVEL. New Zealand is an amazing and beautiful place! I know that is hard to save money when you are here but try your hardest because every city there is a special place absolutely beautiful that you just can’t miss it! Itis not everyday that you travel to the other side of the world.
During this period of time you are going to discover yourself, it is life giving you a incredible chance to see the world different. You aregoing to see things differently. You are going to change but don’t worry it will be for the better, you are going to really learn themeaning of missing someone, for the Brazilians the famous” SAUDADES”, that will always be there but guess what? You will also learn how to deal with.
Enjoy the beginning of the best year of your life, and live it every second because is a unique experience and you will not relive it.
Best of luck
Maria Luiza Nieto

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Hi, my name is Nina, I’m 17 years old and I come from Austria. I’m proud to be a student at Spots¬wood for nearly 4 months now, which sounds pretty long but the time flew by so incredibly fast and now the school year is over! When I think back to my first days at school in New Zealand I can remember how nervous I was. Luckily we had Miss Janet and Mrs Holland by our sides, who helped us through all the paperwork homesickness, pre¬pared us for our classes and besides that always had time to talk in case we had any problems, worries or lust felt upset. So, never be shy to talk to them! I was glad to spend the first time in the Yellow room, which you probably know by now, but after a few days you have to step out of your comfort zone, get outside and…enjoy school. The openhearted, friendly and helpful people here
make it really easy for you. Since school here pro¬bably seems a lot easier than back home, you have a lot of free time for after school activities. Try new things and have fun! It’s a great way to get to know some people and find new friends. Just be brave and talk to other students, they want to become your friends – let them. I’ve played so¬ccer, volleyball and rugby here and haven’t lust found some good friends through that but also discovered my passion for rugby (who would have thought that?). It’s a great sport, you should de¬finetely try it, just go to the practises and if you don’t like it you can still quit.but don’t hurt yourself like I did. (; Another advice that I would like to give you is to be flexible and spontanious. In my case I imagined my student exchange completely dif¬ferent than it was in the end, actually it is better. Just tole things how they come. My plans didnt work out first so it was hard for me to find friends in the beginning (which is ok, don’t worry) and then, one day, I found a really close friend who does’nt even go to Spotswood. What I want to say is, that you should`nt feel upset if things are different than expected, they might be better! Go outside, meet people and make the most out of every situation. I know it can be hard sometimes but it’s the right way to make your stay unforgettable. I wish you all the best for your time in New Zealand and hope could help you a bit with this letter.
Have fun,


Hey Broo xoxo
My name is Natan Willians and I’m 15 years old, I’m from Pernambuco (Brazil). I’ve been in New Zealand for 4 months and I arrived in on 31 january and I’m leaving New Zealand on the July. So I wrote this letter with just 10 days to go back to Brazil. I went to say that my dream always was to have a long time in another country to see beautiful places, make new friends. I always had a goal to speak English. When I was in Brazil I imagined all the things that could happen because I would leave my family, my friends ,my country with all things different. One main things for me was the difference in the time zone. When I arrived here in New Zealand I didn’t speak English very well, I couldn’t answer one answer about anything.
was very nervous, but I was received very well by my host family.after 2 months here in New Zealand I undertood something and answered the questions. On my first trip I went to Mount Mauganui a small city but with a beautiful view of the Mount and a beautiful beach. In the first terms holiday I had my friends, the internacional students, but when I came back from my from my holiday I made a few kiwi friends to further improve my english.
One weekend my host mother took the Brazilians guys to a trail in the mount taranaki and my Brazilian friends and I saw snow for the first time. 0 HaHaHa
( Voce nao pode rir e sonho dos Brasileiros ver neve.. kkkkk ) 0 xoxo
I want to say thanks so much especialy to my host family ( Bryan). Thanks Virginia, Ken, Hannah, Mark, Steven and Rach. They are very
very special to me, and thanks my brother from Germany ( Tobias). The best moments of my were together with these people the other part was being together with my friends, I want to say also thanks so much guys ( Hannah, Nianh, Fin, Momo, Kurtis, Michelle, Jaspe, Haruka, Chika. 0 0
The best things we did was after school everyone, went to centre city, HaHa I love you guys. I’m gonna miss you guys 0 0 but each person has their future, so I wish a lot of happiness for you, I hope to see you all again. 0 XD
My last week at Nz (New Plymouth), I went to Cambridge, Rotorua, Taupo with my Host Family and was so much fun, my last moments with my family and at New Zealand. I enjoyed of my holiday and was unforgatable for me, at Rotorua I went to Skyline and Zoar, The Skyline have a View Beautiful and the luge so much fun HaHaHa 0
At Taupo I went to hot pool, I stayed there 30 minutes relaxing and after I went to see a beautiful waterfall. THANKS FOR THE HOLIDAY
I can’t bevieve my time at Nz is ending, I’m leaving my amazing Host Family but I’m gonna really miss you, not easy to leave all things and special peoples. 0 0 My Brazilians friends they did my days at Spotswoold College a lot hilarious, Thanks (Nathalia, Thaynra and Nilson). Thanks Mss Holand, Mss Janet, Mss Benton and My Host Family for helping to improve my English.
Thanks so much Bryan Family for everything and I don’t have words to describe you. I hope to see you in Brazil in November. 0 LOVE MY HOST FAMILY <3 X0X0


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