"Hello, my name is Nina and I am an international student from Austria. It is so hard to describe the feelings you go through as an international student. At the beginning you are scared … new school, new culture, new language but the people are so nice and open. Everybody, either students or teachers support you. I made really good friends although I just spent one term here. I also found good friends with the other international students. I enjoyed the international cooking club and the trips we did together. Horowhenua College offers a big amount of subjects and activities. I enjoyed learning about the school system here. It is so different. For example, I have never heard of assemblies before. My host family supported me a lot and made my time here unforgettable. I can’t believe how fast the time goes. I want to stay longer. I had an amazing time. I’ll never forget ‘Nua’!"
Anri Kitamura – Japan, January to September 2015
"I’m Anri Kitamura. I am from Tokyo, Japan. I stayed at Horowhenua College for 8 months. I’m really glad I came here. I’ve got many awesome friends. I want to live here. I don’t want to leave here! I can’t believe I stayed here 8 months. Time really flys! Thank you for talking to me and being kind. I love New Zealand! I will come back here one day. New Zealand is my second home. Thank you very much for everything. I love Horowhenua College!"
Miriam Jung – Germany, July 2014 to July 2015
"Hello, my name is Miriam Jung and I have been an international student from Germany for one year. I was really nervous and excited before I came but after my first few school days I was sure that I would have an unforgettable time here. I found really good friends and I will miss them a lot! The people are all really friendly and helpful. My subjects were Art, Outdoor Education, Geography, Drama, Biology, English and Mathematics. My favorite subjects were Outdoor Education and Art. In Outdoor Education we did a lot of trips and it was always fun in class. In Art the teachers were really helpful and supported me a lot in my work. I enjoyed the canoe polo team at school and I went to the rock climbing club. I had a lot of fun at canoe polo and it was really cool to do a kiwi sport. I went with my team to the nationals in Fielding and was very proud of us that we brought the title home. I trained with the Levin Swimming Club and in summer was a lifeguard at Waiterere Beach. The Stage Challenge competition was an amazing adventure for me and I was happy to be a part of it (We came 1st!). But one of the best things here in New Zealand and I am pretty sure that I will never forget it was the school Ball. It was just an awesome evening and it was so nice to see everyone dressed up. The culture is just amazing and I will miss that a lot. The landscape is so beautiful and the trip to Rotorua with the international students from school was really fun. We saw lots of places and for me the highlight was ‘Hobbiton’. The south island is really beautiful as well and my favorite place is Dunedin. I am so thankful to everyone who made my year just amazing and unforgettable. I am so happy that I went to Horowhenua College and made so many good friends."
Birgit Breinreich – Austria, January to July 2015
"Hi my name is Birgit. I’m 16 years old and I am an international student from Austria. I had a wonderful time here in New Zealand and going to school in Horowhenua College. I choose the subjects English, Art, Outdoor Education, Food Technology, Geography, French and Spanish. I had wonderful classes and especially Outdoor Education which was great for oversea students! You learn a lot about Kiwi sport and culture in that subject. We went kayaking in the school pool, hiking up to Waiopehu hut, mountain biking at Waitarere beach and rock climbing on the school‘s own rock climbing wall. Horowhenua College has a great amount of subjects which you can choose from and has the right equipment for every course as well. My first host family did not work out in the beginning but the International Dean didn’t hesitate to move me to an other family where I had a wonderful time. During my stay in New Zealand I joined a dance school which kept me fit and as well‚ ‘Stage Challenge‘. We came 1st in the competition! I was well supported. I enjoyed the international cooking club and went rock climbing after school on some days. I tried canoe polo as well, but it was too late to join in the team, but I can still recommend this sport! Time passes so fast at the end I couldn’t believe that it’s already over. I made wonderful friends who supported me in learning English and talked a lot with me. I was really sad that I had to go, but that just shows how much I loved it to stay in Levin. You can have a real Kiwi experience here! I will come back one day to see what has changed in New Zealand and Levin!"
Shunki Nagai – Japan, July 2014 to July 2015
"I’m Shunki and I am an international student from Japan. I came to Horowhenua College 9 months ago from Japan. I have had such a great time here. I’ve got heaps of friends from my classes and they were so kind to me, even when my English was hard to understand when I first came here. Also my teachers were kind. They make a great effort to teach their students and make the classes more fun. The international students that I was also a part of became really good and close friends. We spent a lot of time together and we enjoyed some school trips together. Obviously we will keep in contact. It is so hard to say goodbye to them but I am such a lucky person because I could come here, to Horowhenua College. A big thanks to all of the people in this school! I’ll never forget what I’ve learned here and the amazing friends that I have made here."
Benedikt Gottuk – Germany, January to July 2015
"My name is Benedikt and I am an international student from Germany. My time in New Zealand was full of lovely and helpful people. My host family became my family and in soccer and rock climbing, I found great friends. It was not like I expected. It was better. In subjects like Outdoor Education or Physical Education I learned things I didn’t know about. Drama and Music were full of great and funny moments which I will never forget. In English and Geography I learned so much and it was very different to home."
Naomi Miyamoto – Japan, July 2014 to April 2015
"Hi. I’m Naomi from Japan. I have stayed in New Zealand for 10 months and have had a great time in Levin and New Zealand. I really like Horowhenua College, especially the ESOL class because the teacher was so kind to me and the class was a lot of fun. All the international students and the local students and teachers were all very kind and friendly to me. When we went on the North island trip with school (International Department), that trip was so good and a lot of fun. I liked the Waitomo caves and Hobbiton (the set from the movie). The scenery was so beautiful. First my image of New Zealand was lots of sheep and lots of nature, but New Zealand to me now is about lots of beautiful places. Thank you so much for everything. I will never forget my amazing experience at Horowhenua College and in New Zealand."
Joona Arminen – Finland, February to April 2015
"My name is Joona. I am from Finland. My time at Horowhenua College was great. Nice people, teachers as well as the students. I got along with them really well. Horowhenua College is really friendly and is a supportive environment to study in. I was here for only one term but I enjoyed my time here and I recommend it for everyone who is thinking to start studying here. Kia Ora."
Lars Riemann – Germany, January to July 2014
"My name is Lars Riemann and I am from Germany. My 6 months at Horowhenua College have been great. The students were always friendly and helpful as well as the staff. I really enjoyed the different subjects in comparison to Germany, eg. Outdoor Education, where we did several kayak trips and tramping with two nights in the mountains. The Art and Graphics subjects helped me to improve my skills for my art class at home and one of my best decisions was to join the Senior Mixed Hockey Team of the College. Through this I got even more involved in the school and their activities. It was great fun, and we have actually been quite succesful. The canoe polo, which I tried at the beginning was something new for me, as well. Over the time I made some really awesome friends, and I hope we will still stay in contact, when I'm back in Germany."
Mira Juvonen – Finland, January to July 2014
"My name is Mira Juvonen and I am from Finland. My time in New Zealand has been amazing. I’ve made many really good friends from all over the world and I will definitely keep in touch with them. Horowhenua College is a great place to study and people here, both students and staff have been very nice and welcoming for me. I’ve got to study interesting subjects like Outdoor Education and my English has improved. I’ve also enjoyed the trips that the school has organised for international and exchange students. They have been great opportunities to see different parts of New Zealand."
Akihito Koinuma – Japan, July 2013 to July 2014
"My name is Aki. I'm from Tokyo Japan. I wanted to come to New Zealand because I wanted to improve my English. When I went to Horowhenua College and saw it for the first time I thought this school is huge. I thought this school's area is four times bigger than my school. This school is cool. My subjects were English, Creative Catering, Drama, Outdoor Education, Physical Education, and ESOL. My favourite classes were Creative Catering, Drama and Outdoor Education. Creative Catering was great because we got to eat the yummy food afterwards. Drama was cool. I decided to do acting in front of people. It was just awesome. When I was acting I felt comfortable. It was a little bit strange when we finished acting that people clapped. I will never forget that scene. I really enjoyed Outdoor Education. We did rock climbing, kayaking, mountain biking and camping. My favourite was camping because I saw beautiful natural vegetation in New Zealand from this activity. We stayed on the mountain in either tents or huts. This was a new experience in New Zealand for me. ESOL was a great class. This class helps students with their English so most of the people were international students. I learned English a lot from this ESOL class. I liked the teacher. It was so good. They were my subjects and were subjects I could not experience in Japan. After school I played volleyball and kayaking with the school teams. I played volleyball two times a week on Tuesday and Wednesdays and every second week on Tuesdays we played a game with other schools in Palmerston North. Sometimes we won and sometimes we lost. It was a good experience because I also play volleyball in Japan and I could learn how kiwis learn volleyball. It was not much different. I played kayaking every Sunday. It was so much fun because when we finished practice we then played a game and every time I got a point it was "oh yea" but just in my mind, actually, I do clap myself! I also learned dance at ‘Kate Martin School of Dance’ after school. I was good in this class. I did a performance with them. Before I finished my time at Horowhenua College, I performed with the students in ‘Stage Challenge’. Our School came second in the Manawatu Competition. This was a great experience. Also I performed in the ‘Nua Idol’ competition at school, receiving a medal, and also spoke at full assembly. Overall, my time at Horowhenua College was awesome. I have loved being in New Zealand, loved the scenery seen on the trips through College, and learning about the New Zealand culture."
Kristina Gedde – Norway, July 2013 to July 2014
"Hi I am Kristina, I have been studying at Horowhenua for one year and have enjoyed my time a lot. I have realized that going abroad is a really strange thing to do. It is strange because you leave everything and everyone known behind. Because you turn your life upside-down in an instant. Because you go to school without having a reason to do good but try to learn only because it is boring not to. Because you live in a family that you have never met before, but become a part of it after a not very long time. Because when your new life is not new anymore and you have found new people and places to care about, you have to leave it all again and go back to the place called home that might not be as familiar as it used to be. But I guess life in general is strange and I think that the choice of going to Horowhenua and New Zealand has been one of the best and biggest decisions in my life. It is one of the first big decisions I have made on my own and it sounds a bit superficial but going abroad for a year changes you and really gives you a different perspective on the world."
Alexander Kuhlmann – Germany, July 2012 to July 2013
"When I first came to New Zealand I knew that I wouldn’t just want to go for the experience and the new and different education, but I knew that I wanted to do sports … lots of sports. On the school homepage everything seemed very promising and exciting to me. Sports I’ve never really done before like canoe polo, rock climbing, tramping or cycling, all being part of the programme of a school subject. Of course I therefore choose Outdoor education as one of my subjects and it was simply amazing. Climbing a rock wall as a school subject? Sounds cool to me! So once I had lived the New Zealand way I started focusing on sports. I joined the team of my favourite sport, soccer. Very soon after that we competed in the Linwood tournament in Napier where we achieved a great 3rd place in a competition out of 24 of New Zealand’s best colleges. A week after that we managed to claim the Trevor brooking trophy for the 11th time in a row for Horowhenua College. So I may call that a great start into my New Zealand activities. Earlier in the year I joined the Levin Athletics club after some of my friends suggested I should give it a visit and it was great fun. I actually turned out to win the schools intermediate athletics and breaking the schools record at javelin and also went on to rank three 2nd places at the Manawatu secondary schools athletics which then qualified me for the North Islands Secondary School championships. The North Islands were held in Masterton which would be a new town for me to see and big thanks to my host dad who took me all the way down there 1 and a half hours each way just for me to compete in the javelin competition. This turned out to be a great success. The school record was broken again and I missed out on winning the event by only under a metre and therefore saved myself the 2nd place and a qualification for the NZ Nationals. During this time some of my friends recommended canoe polo to me so I gave it a shot. I went to my first training one Wednesday night and it was awesome. It was such a fun game that I then turned out to play twice or up to three times a week! After only 4 weeks after my first practise my coach then told me he’d like me to play at the Canoe Polo Regional Championships. And after sitting out the first game I then took part in a regional competition in a sport I played for only four weeks. And it gets better! We achieved 2nd place in the competition and qualified for the NZ Nationals where two weeks later we earned ourselves the silver medal in a National Competition! That was one of the greatest sport events in my life and I’d love to continue playing polo in the future. In addition to athletics, soccer and canoe polo, I also played in the twilight soccer competition. My Volleyball team came 2nd in the Manawatu Volleyball division one, we won the u19 soccer Manawatu division one and played in the schools futsal team who came 12th at the NZ National futsal championships. I also brought home a 4th place in one of the schools swimming sports events. Aside from Sport, I managed to be a good student earning a Services to Drama certificate and to be a member of the Schools student council representing the International and exchange students. Concluding all that I’d say that coming to New Zealand was one of the greatest experiences in my life and Horowhenua is a great school that gives everyone so many opportunities to succeed and learn. It’s mostly about what you try and I tried many things and I achieved many things. But without trying there is no success. As long as you give it your best you will never underachieve! This is a Horowhenua College saying, and that is what I learned at Horowhenua College."
Jennifer Krumkuhler – February to September 2014
"Hello. My name is Jenny Krumkuhler and I have been an international student at Horowhenua College for 8 months. I have had such an awesome time here. I met heaps of nice and really helpful people and I experienced new and really different things which I didn’t know about before I left my home country. I guess it’s really hard to explain to other people what it is like to be an international student because it is just so different from what everyone expects. You choose the country you’re going to because people tell you what nice landscapes it has and how awesome it looks, but they actually don’t know what it means to live there. Being an international student is way more than looking around the country. It means getting to know the lifestyle, the people, the food, the culture and so much more. Yes, I travelled around heaps and yeah, the landscape is beautiful and really impressive, but in fact it is not that which I am going to miss in New Zealand. It is more the people I have got to know, who I can call my friends now, my host family who showed me their way of living and supported me a lot and school. I actually really enjoyed school here. It is so different to Germany and in my eyes, it is much better. Thanks to very one who supported me this year, who spent time with me and helped me or even just talked to me. I am going to miss all of that a lot!"
Johanna Breithaupt – Germany, February to December 2014
"My name is Johanna Breithaupt and I am from Germany. It is impossible to tell someone how it is to be an international student because everyone experiences different things. However, what you can tell people who are thinking of going to New Zealand is that the time there is unforgettable! You learn so much about the people, the country and the language. I had the most amazing year here at Horowhenua College! We got to see so much of the country while doing some international trips and I found many friends from all over the world. Everyone at the College is nice and friendly and always there for you!"
Kai Takenaga – Japan, January to November 2013
"My name is Kai Takenaga. I am from Japan. When I came to New Zealand I wanted to go back to Japan because I missed my family and my friends. But now I am comfortable here because I have made friends and I can understand English better than before. I have played soccer at Horowhenua College. It was very nice because they were kind and made me feel welcome. I went on a trip with the new international students from school around the North Island. We went to Waitomo, Taupo and Rotorua. Some of us did a bungy jump, zorbing and I saw sheep being shorn. I stayed in New Zealand with my host family. They were kind and helped me a lot so I was happy to stay with them. While I have been in New Zealand I have been to Wellington, Palmerston North, Wanganui, Feilding and Kapiti with my host family, sports team and my friends. I also stayed at another international student's host family for a week. When I stayed there I did lots of things. It was really fun. I did things like watching movies, playing basketball and going to other cities. I think staying in New Zealand has been fun, interesting and very different from Japan. I recommend going to New Zealand because you can change your life and you will love it."
Anne-Sophie Henriksen – Denmark, July 2012 to May 2013
"Having 11 months at Horowhenua College has been awesome. Thank you so much for a great great GREAT time at Horowhenua College. I just love the teachers, the school and of course the students. The house activities have especially been great fun. I have had the best time of my life and I have learned so much. Being an international student is not always easy but it’s worth it because I have had so much fun and it is honestly something I think everyone should do. I have pushed my own limits by doing bungee jumping and skydiving and I have made friends here that I will NEVER forget. It has really just been awesome and I am not looking forward to leaving this place at all. Having a year overseas means that you have to get on with people and you have to take responsibility for yourself and your actions. It has been great for me to do that and to have an absolutely lovely host family to support me when I needed it. Just trying to live a different life for once has been amazing, so yes, this has been great!"
Leon Sommerfeld – Germany, January to December 2013
"My year at Horowhenua College has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. Everyone here is incredibly friendly, students and staff and it was very easy for me to fit in with the other students. The College has such a wide choice of subjects and the practical work at school is really fun. I got everything out of this one year at Horowhenua College that I could have wished for. Thanks to everyone for this great experience."
Magdalena Bostrom – Sweden, July 2012 to April 2013
“My ten months here in New Zealand has passed so fast. I can’t believe that my time has already come to an end and I have to go home. Coming to New Zealand was definitely the best thing I have ever done as I have made so many friends, both here in New Zealand and also the rest of the world through the other international students at Horowhenua College. I have grown as a person and improved my English skills. Horowhenua College is a great school and I recommend everyone that wants to see New Zealand to come here as New Zealand is the friendliest country I’ve ever visited!”
Nora Kogel – Germany, August 2012 – May 2013
"I absolutely enjoyed my time at Horowhenua College! I don’t want to leave all the friends I have found here and my lovely host family. From the first day I felt welcomed at the school. Awesome teachers, nice staff and very friendly and outgoing students all made it easy for me to join in the everyday school life at Horowhenua College. The school offers many activities that make it easy to get to know new people and it is great fun. Because of the encouraging coaches and the amazing team spirit, I even got to participate at the Canoe Polo Nationals. But the most important contribution to my wonderful year in New Zealand was my host family. They became like a real family to me and I love them a lot. Through them I got to try many new things, eg Tae kwon Do, a sport that the whole family does. That was a lot of fun. From the beginning of my stay they included me in their family life. For my first holiday with them they took me to Christchurch which was a great trip and spending national holidays like Christmas with them was an awesome experience which I will never forget. I will definitely stay in touch with them and I am already looking forward to them visiting me in Germany. I have had an amazing year in New Zealand and will start saving up for my flights to come back! Thanks to everyone who made it such a great experience."
Henrike Steding – Germany, July 2012 to July 2013
"Going for an exchange to New Zealand was the best decision ever and I was lucky to go to Horowhenua College. The students there are very open and friendly and from my first days there, I got engaged in school and social life. I made many good kiwi and international friends and I had a great host family who always made me feel welcome and loved. I got involved in the Horowhenua College canoe polo team, took part in the rock climbing club and took ballet lessons. At school I was able to take a variety of subjects which were loads of fun and helped me extend my knowledge. Special events such as geography field trips, year 13 camp, peer support afternoons and athletics day were always great and created memories that will last a lifetime. My year at Horowhenua College has been amazing and I’m looking forward to coming back!"
Philipp Preusser – Germany, July 2012 to July 2013
"Hey, I’m Philipp from Frankfurt, Germany. I spent a full year staying in New Zealand at Horowhenua College. It’s been a great chance for me to improve my English. Doing sports at this school is great fun since all the teammates have always been nice and kind. I made a lot of new friends. Now that I have come to the end of my stay, I just want to do it all again."
Annette Hermann – Germany August 2012 to May 2013
"I really enjoyed staying in New Zealand. I can’t believe that I’m leaving this beautiful country in a few days. I’m going to miss everyone so much! I am so thankful for having awesome friends and the best host family. They all made my year here in Levin, unforgettable. I will keep all these memories forever and I’m sure I will come back one day! Thank you Horowhenua College for giving me the opportunity to build new friendships while achieving good grades. Being a student at Horowhenua College has been great! The teachers are so nice and helpful! They made me feel like I was part of the school right from the beginning."
Sophie Woods – Denmark, July to November 2013
"Horowhenua College has been a good experience for me. There are a lot of different subjects and you can choose the subjects you want. The subjects are fun and enjoyable. When you are an exchange or international student you get really close to the other international students. You hang out a lot with them in the breaks and afterschool. The school has a trip around the north island for all the new international students as well. It was really fun. I had drama, art, photography, English, Math and Outdoor education. In drama I was in a group where we made our own play. In Art we painted a mural on a board which also included collage and mixed medium on a theme we chose. My teacher was very helpful and patient. I learned a lot and the other students were very talented. In photography you learnt how to use Photoshop and how to make a folio board again on our own theme. Outdoor education was my must enjoyable subject. I had an awesome teacher that was always smiling and helpful. He was really into his work and wanted to be a really good teacher for the students and made a questionnaire at the end of the year. Horowhenua College has been a good experience for me and I have made a lot of new international friends."
Chris Stolting – Germany, July 2012 to April 2013
“I came to New Zealand last year at the end of July and was impressed by the life style here and that everything seems far more relaxed than it is in Germany. I stayed on a small farm just south of Levin which was a great and wonderful experience for me as I come from quite a big city. Over the time I have made some very good friends here and I would say I will stay in contact with them after I go back. The school was very different from my one at home. I was way less stressed. I especially enjoyed the art and design department where I learned some great techniques and had some great fun. I also joined the local rowing club which was a great decision. I had the chance to go on several camps and regattas with them and see a lot of New Zealand. I also joined two brass bands. Levin District Brass and Levin Youth Brass bands. I played the tuba there. All in all, I can say I had a great year in New Zealand and I am kind of sad to be going back home.”
Heloise Gilleman – Belgium
"I really enjoyed my stay in New Zealand. Being at Horowhenua College helps me to make friends and to learn a new culture. Thank you for welcoming me and for giving me a great time in New Zealand."
Mcquinn Kaewa – Papua New Guinea, 2012
"My one year study at Horowhenua College is so different to my other schools. Everyone is open and friendly. Being a student here has been a great opportunity for me to learn new things and also share my own culture. Choosing Horowhenua College was the right choice for me and I have had an awesome experience here!"
Jessie Zhuang – China
"At Horowhenua College everyone is friendly. I am enjoying studying here (3 years). The teachers are so helpful and I have learned so much. Coming to Horowhenua College has been the right choice for me!"
Gabriel Bendlin – Brazil, 2012
"It is a great experience to attend Horowhenua College! Lots of friendly people, an awesome staff and a good range of subjects and activities."
Shun Sugasawa – Japan, 2012
"I really enjoy spending time at Horowhenua College. The students are friendly and helpful . This College is a great school!"