My first month update (26.07.19 – 31.08.19)

Before my flight to New Zealand, I had no idea what it would be like; I knew I would be surprised. I never imagined the experiences that I have had in the last month! This is my first time out of Europe, about a 27-hour flight from Frankfurt airport via Dubai and finally arriving in Auckland. I saw from the plane the view over the coast of Auckland and when I got the wonderful welcome poster from Paul, I knew that I was in the best place. Driving from Auckland to Tauranga, I learned a lot about the landscape and New Zealand from Paul and Rachel, then spent my first wonderful days with Morton and Lisa.

I didn’t suffer from jet lag much, so explored the Mount with Morton and Lisa on my first full day. When I saw the beautiful beach at Mount Maunganui, I realized a big dream had come true for me to be here in New Zealand!

My first day of school on the 1st August at Otumoetai College was a very special experience. There were a lot of new people, subjects and homework as well as many new rules. I can safely say that the school here is much more relaxed. After a month here, I have met very nice people and friends. I really appreciate the relaxed nature of the most kiwis. I am worried that I will keep the same loose style when I get back to school in Germany. I am still happy with my decision to take quite different subjects than I had in Germany, such as outdoor education, media studies and the very practical oriented music lessons make a lot of fun.

With Paul and Rachel, I've already seen a lot of New Zealand. We drove to Taupo on the 3rd of August, as Rachel was running a half marathon! Paul and I did a nice bike ride along the shore of the lake. After that, I visited the hot pools in Taupo for the first time. I decided I would really like to have something like that in Germany.

On 11th of August Paul took me to my first rugby match in Tauranga, it was Bay of Plenty against Otago with Bay of Plenty winning (50:7). It was a very special experience, firstly because of the result and secondly due to the surprising atmosphere of the crowd, which is very different to football crowds in Germany!

On 17th August we went on a trip to Rotorua, visited Rainbow springs where I saw my first Kiwi bird! We then went to the mud pools of Rotorua, which I found very smelly.

My last, but very memorable experience in New Zealand during my first month was the weekend trip to Auckland with Paul and Rachel. Rachel and I spent a day visiting the main attractions in Auckland. We climbed on "One Tree Hill", went up the "Sky Tower", and visited Mission Bay. The next day we went by ferry to Devonport. On Mount Victoria, I could see Devonport and the beautiful harbour and skyline of Auckland! 

Auckland like other cities, has beautiful and not so beautiful areas. The Harbour, Queen Street, Sky tower and other places like Mission Bay and Devonport are wonderful places in Auckland. Auckland is a very young city with its numerous universities and educational facilities. Some roads in Auckland were not scenic with many construction sites and little character. It will take a further two trips to take in more of the most important location in New Zealand!

After my first month, I can say that my decision to do a year abroad is probably the best decision I could make. It is the best way to experience another culture and make friends in a faraway country. I've noticed a lot of differences, and I'm working on my kiwi accent! I've come to appreciate the differences and I'm glad I have one of the most exciting, if not the most exciting year of my life here in Tauranga. I'm looking forward to experiencing many more great things on my first orientation, to the South Island and with my new friends and Rachel and Paul.

But..... I drank too much hot chocolate!