Kia Ora! My name is Rabea and I am from Germany. I spent six months at Tauraroa Area School near Whangarei from the start of 2014.
I was very excited on my first day at T.A.S. and I have to admit; I was a little afraid of what school in New Zealand would be like. But right after the hearty welcome ceremony
in the schools hall, I knew there was nothing to be scared of at all. I was immediately included into the schools’ society and the students became close friends, very soon like siblings and suddenly I was a part of the Tauraroa-family! Even the smallest students from year 1 greeted me wherever I went and wanted to be friends with me. After a short period of time I was completely accepted as the German-Kiwi-student and friendly involved at all times.
I was first quite surprised how relaxed but effective teacher and students work togetherto be the “best they can be” which is also the schools’ motto. The learning atmosphere at the small school is extremely friendly and always connected to a bit of humour so learning gets fun and never boring for anyone. I haven’t met at least one student in my entire stay that was unhappy or felt lonely at Tauraroa Area School. I was the only German international student at the school and there were few other exchange students which I noticed as an advantage as this makes the New-Zealand-feeling more intense and individual.
Apart from that, I couldn’t imagine a T.A.S. - home stay family as unfriendly or anything like that. Everybody is open for the internationals and treats them as a friend from another country which is quite exciting for them to see and experience as well. Tauraroa Area School offers a very large variety of sports, also including tournaments, and other activities in which exchange students are more than welcome to participate. I was part of the schools hockey, netball and volleyball team as well as the school jazz band. There is also a choir, Kapa Haka (Maori traditional form of dancing) and lots of clubs to be joined after school or in school time. Especially exciting for me were the sports days for which the students get divided into so-called “houses” with different colours for each house. You can earn house points for activities and everybody, no matter if old or young, big or small, has a lot of fun together. Also the trips and education outside of the classroom make the schools’ students so close and happy. In connection to those I experienced some wonderful adventures with my Kiwi friends. We for example went canyoning with our PE class which was a unique and fantastic trip and also participated in a surfing course with the aim to improve safety - but not at last having a lot of fun, too! International students are nicely involved in many of those trips which give a great opportunity to learn about the country and experience the great way Tauraroa- teacher teach in the pure and untouched nature of the beautiful country New Zealand. The rural environment, the country, and especially the people made those six months of my life the best I have ever had. Those will never be forgotten. I made friends when I came but I leave with a lot of new and heart-warming brothers and sisters who will forever stay in my heart.
Thank you T.A.S!
From the first day here at school I felt really welcome from everyone. I quickly found friends in my year group and some really nice friends from other year groups as well. The teachers and staff are all very lovely and helpful. I am really thankful for all the work the international staff have done for the overseas students. They took the international students for lots of exciting trips to Auckland and we visited different places in Whangarei. I wish I could stay to finish my schooling here.