Augustin Willems from Belgium

Hi! My name is Augustin, I’m sixteen, I come from Belgium and I had the most incredible experience during my term as an international student at Macleans College.

It was a truly transformative period in my life, and I would like to share some of the highlights of my fantastic journey.

Since the first day I have been warmly welcomed in my classes where I made some great friends. I was in the Te Kanawa House, TK, the blue one (the best) which was for me a second family. From my point of view, there is a ninth house at Macleans, the International Department managed by the awesome Mrs Galloway, Ms Ashby, Ms Chan and all the team. The orientation days have created some strong friendships between the international students. Honestly after a week at school you already have a great friend group.

During my term I have followed the Maths, English, Biology, Engineering and Outdoor Education classes of Year 12. My favourite lesson at Macleans would certainly be outdoor education even if I had so much fun and learned a lot in each of them. My time at Macleans was the occasion to improve my English and discover a new culture but my trip to the end of the world, even if it was short, was more than that. My term at Macleans College was not only about academic growth but also personal development. I became more independent and confident. The challenges I faced, both inside and outside the classroom, pushed me out of my comfort zone and helped me discover my strengths and passions.

Even if one term is too short to explore New Zealand, I have been to a few places thanks to my host family, my friends and the Kiwiana Tours offering great trips to the international student. First of all, Auckland, its mountains, its Sky Tower, its nice neighbourhoods and its sea all around is probably the first things to do. I went to the city centre by bus with some friends lots of times. Then I particularly enjoyed going to Hobbiton and the Bay of Islands with Kiwiana Tours. That’s the perfect way to discover New Zealand and to make some new international friends from other schools. Finally, my favourite activities and the easiest one was going to the beach with some friends, grabbing fish and chips and enjoying every single day in this paradise.

I would like to thank all my Kiwi and international friends, my host families, my teachers, the International Department and all the people I met for these ten unforgettable weeks ! You are awesome. I’m so happy and lucky to have met you. I wish you all the best and hope to see you again. Let’s stay in touch.