Definitely one of the highlights during my school time, and what I would really recommend to all international students, was Outdoor Education. I got the chance to explore the beauty of New Zealand's nature, trying out completely new things I've never done before, like sailing on a racing yacht and surfing. I very quickly built new and strong friendships with my classmates because of the 3 or 4 day trips.
I also really enjoyed our different whānaus (family), because here at AC, school isn’t just a duty, but also family. Special events like sports day, cross country and choir all strengthen this connection.
Another thing I really enjoyed at Alfriston College is that I got to discover many new cultures which I am definitely not able to at my school in Austria. Also learning the haka gave me an even greater connection to New Zealand and its culture.
At Alfriston College I built such good friendships that it feels like I’ve known these people forever – I would count them as some of my best friends. Not only that, I count New Zealand now as my second home – I actually have a second family there now.
I have to admit, before I actually met my host family I was a bit nervous, because it is one of the biggest impacts of any exchange. But really, all those “worrying thoughts” were unnecessary, because I couldn’t have got a better one. My host parents, Ine and Barend, treated me like a family member and their daughter, from day one. And also, after a time, my host brothers just treated me like their sister, which included teasing each other and play fighting. I felt really at home and I knew that if I had problems I could always go and talk to them, because that is what a family does.
I am just so thankful for everybody and everything that made my stay in New Zealand so perfect and unforgettable. If I could plan my exchange again, I would chose the exact same things because there is really nothing I would like to change.
Thank you Alfriston College, I will never forget this time!