I was given an enormous amount of opportunities while studying in NZ and I’m grateful for every single one of them. I got the chance to be a student ambassador for Education New Zealand, sharing my experiences to inspire other students. I was also lucky enough to travel around most of the South Island, as well as having a week exploring Northern Queensland in Australia. I got to try activities most people only dream about doing such as snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef, skydiving and bungy jumping. But, the opportunity where I learnt the most was being an International Student Leader at my school. I will carry everything that I learnt during that experience with me into the future - it gave me a lot of belief in myself and definitely made me step up and take responsibility. All of these experiences really opened up my eyes to how lucky I am and how big this world really is.
What I learnt about myself
I’ve learned more about myself than I thought was possible. I discovered new abilities I didn’t know I had and I discovered how important values such as family and tradition is for me. It prepared me for the future by moving out of home and getting a fresh start. It made me more secure about who I am and who I want to be. Of course there were struggles along the way. I had half a week in hospital midway through my year abroad, but I think that week was the one where I learned the most about myself.
In the first few weeks at school, I struggled with making friends. With time it all got better and I managed to get friends who I don't know what I would do without today. I made friends from Norway, Fiji, Canada, Thailand, New Zealand and everywhere in between. I really can’t thank my host family, friends, peers, and the international department and staff at Roncalli College enough for the support and opportunities I've been given during my year.
My time in NZ has given me a network full of people from all corners of the globe, as well as a family and a community on the other side of the world, where I can now call home.