News/Blog

Five Months to Bring the World Closer

Five Months to Bring the World Closer

Five Months to Bring the World Closer

Recently I have returned from a five month student exchange with AFS in Argentina. At the beginning of 2014 I applied for an LIA Ministry of Education award to travel with AFS (an intercultural exchange programme). I learnt that I had been accepted and Argentina was going to be my new home. In February this year I left my comfort zone, family and friends and stepped on a plane in Invercargill and here began a new chapter in my life. I left everything and everyone I knew and stepped out in a ‘new world’ with new people, new language and new opportunities.

Argentina opened my eyes and I feel it has helped me become a more open person. I lived in a small town named Crespo in the Entre Rios region in the north east of Argentina, close to the border of Uruguay. In this town there were eight other international students, from countries such as, Hungary, Turkey, Italy, Germany and Thailand. I was hosted into a family and went to school like any other student. I was in Year 6 which was the equivalent of Year 13 in New Zealand. I was in a class of 10 students. Two of us were exchange students; the other one from Italy. The school had around 180 students in total. School hours were from 7.00am until 12.35pm from Monday to Friday. The school was one single building, and the classrooms were very small with plain brick walls. There was no Science, Art, computing facilities and no textbooks as these were considered too expensive.  Work was done on a blackboard and all notes were dictated by the teacher. I decided to join as many extra-curricular activities to immerse myself in the culture. I began traditional folklore dance classes and joined the local orquestra and went to music school. I was even lucky enough to travel to Brazil and Paraguay and see one of the Seven Wonders of the World: the waterfalls of Iguazu. I have seen things I never thought I would see and I have made friends from people in countries I never thought would be possible, and have made life long connections.

Nymfe Thys

Year 13

category News
04 August 2015