Luis, Germany – Year 11

I chose Springbank School because it was like a school I attended in Germany, and I had heard it was family focused, small, kind and caring.  The fact that it is based in the Bay of Islands was a bonus because there are so many things I could do on the sea like scuba diving, surfing, fishing, and paddle boarding.

I liked Springbank because it is like one big family and from the first day you feel a part of the whole school.  We do a lot outside as I was part of the weekly Outdoor Adventure class, where we could go hiking, swimming and into the bush to learn bush craft skills, which is something I had never done before.

At Springbank they have house groups, and I was part of the Orcas.  On special days like athletics, cross country etc, I had to wear orange which is the colour of my house group, and we would compete against each other and the other house groups.  The tug of war was the best!

I was really lucky with my host family as I had a host sister in my age group, and I did a lot with her.  We went swimming, play tennis, go for walks with the dog and we could talk to each other about everything.  She is like what I imagine it must be like to have a real sister (I have two brothers).

For me staying with my host family is one of the best things which could have happened to me in New Zealand, including the Covid-19 time where we spent a lot of time together and myself and my family back home in Germany, knew I was safe and well looked after.