How was New Zealand's national animal selected

Trips & student exchanges

Posted by Patrick Schulte on.


 

I love NEW ZEALAND

Two months in the land of the great white cloud - Aotearoa- New Zealand ... among four million New Zealanders, kiwis and lots of sheep

“Kia Ora, ko Patrick taku ingoa. No Verne ahau. ”That is Maori, the language of the native New Zealanders of the same name and translates as“ Hello, my name is Patrick and I come from Verne ”. After I applied for the annual exchange program of the Düsseldorf District Government towards the end of the first half of the year in tenth grade and was selected a few months later with around 50 other participants for the school exchange with New Zealand, my exchange partner Jamie from New Zealand visited me from the beginning of December to the end of January 2010 in my home village of Verne.


After I applied for the annual exchange program of the District Government of Düsseldorf towards the end of the first half of the year in the tenth grade and was selected a few months later with around 50 other participants for the student exchange with New Zealand, my exchange partner Jamie from New Zealand visited me from the beginning of December to At the end of January 2010 in my home village Verne. He got to know German food, Christmas and a lot of snow here, and a few weeks later - in February 2010 - the return visit was on the plan for me.
In the week after Carnival it suddenly happened and I threw myself - head over heels - into my first big adventure. New Zealand!
From the airport in Frankfurt we went by plane via Singapore (the airport and the showers there are great and a welcome refreshment after a 12 hour flight) to Christchurch on the South Island of New Zealand. A comparatively short domestic flight then brought me to Hamilton on the North Island, where I was warmly welcomed by my host family. On the way from the airport to my host family's house, I was able to admire the beautiful landscape for the first time in the evening sunshine and in the evening in the sunshine on the veranda, I was able to enjoy a delicious snapper fillet with potatoes and salad.

My host family's house was very quiet between Te Awamutu and Cambridge and I was surrounded by green hills, cows and horses, Cambridge is particularly well known for the latter.
Every morning I took the school bus in shorts, a polo shirt and sandals (this is what my school uniform looked like) to Cambridge High School, where I could choose from a particularly wide range of subjects. I decided to take a few exotic courses if possible; Maori (the native language of New Zealand), Drama (a kind of literature / theater) and Economics (SoWi in English) were definitely great choices and I really enjoyed it. It also gave me the opportunity to learn the men's womenswear, the ritual dance of the New Zealand national rugby team.

In general, I can say that everyday school life was very pleasant and I was welcomed very nicely together with the other five NRW students. I got to know several typical New Zealand sports - netball, softball and of course rugby - and went to a cricket match with some of my schoolmates. The match lasted seven hours and there were warm, sunny temperatures and a great atmosphere. The great atmosphere was inevitable, as it was a derby between the national teams of New Zealand and Australia.

My host family looked after me very warmly and showed me many beautiful sides of New Zealand. I spent particularly nice weekends with my host family with the great and very open grandparents of my host brother in Auckland, New Zealand's largest city. I also got to know international food from “Indian to Thai to fish ´n chips in the sunset on the pier of New Zealand's oldest settlement”. I was also infected by the travel bug of my host family (especially my father) and their enthusiasm for New Zealand.

Another highlight was a weekend on the beach in Whangamata (east coast of the North Island), where the "Beach Hop" - a spectacular rock n roll, vintage and hot rod festival with American cars from the 50s and 60s - takes place every year in March. Between Chevys, Elvis and a lot of rock n roll, I could enjoy the beach and swim or bodyboard in the sea. The small idyllic beach was besieged for a whole week by an unbelievable number of approx. 70,000 “beach hoppers”. We also went on trips to the Hamilton Zoo, the Hamilton Gardens and a day trip to Rotorua, a volcanically active area and an original location for the Lord of the Rings films.
A particularly beautiful event was the drive to a huge renatured forest area on Mt Maungatautari, which had been freed from (introduced) pests. There my host brother Jamie, his best friend, another exchange student from NRW and I met a team of rangers. This ranger team was looking for a kiwi, New Zealand. National animal, which is endangered and very rarely seen. We assisted the ranger team and luckily we were able to see a kiwi up close, which even many New Zealanders cannot do in their lives.

After having my last day of school three weeks before my flight departure, I received a warm goodbye from my new friends at Cambridge High School and then started a four-day outdoor camp with abseiling, kayaking and an overnight hike in the open air. I spent Easter at home with my great host family and experienced the Bay of Islands, one of the most beautiful parts of New Zealand, where we could watch dolphins up close from a tourist boat and where the oldest city in New Zealand - Russel - is located.

 

Last week we went surfing and since the exchange was unfortunately limited to two months, we soon had to say “good bye” and “goodbye”. In summary, I can only say that an exchange is a great opportunity to get to know a new country, a new culture and a lot of great people. The exchange enriched me a lot and it was a unique experience. I can only advise everyone to take the opportunity to stay in a foreign country with a foreign culture and to plunge into an adventure with open eyes and ears. New Zealand is of course particularly recommended with its unique landscape, hospitality and the easy-going "kiwi lifestyle".

Finally, I would like to say a very big thank you to Mr. Lödige for his support in the application and supervision of the student exchange.
I am at your disposal for further questions about the exchange or information specifically about the exchange program of the district government in Düsseldorf.

Patrick Schulte
 

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