Ar the time I was really quite nervous about going because I thought I wasn’t the best role for it. But in hindsight it was one the best highlights of my life and I wish I could do it again.
I made many friends and memories (despite a slight language barrier here and there) and my host family and I still keep in touch.
Since then, I started my tertiary education at the University of Auckland last year. I intended to get a conjoint degree of a Bachelor of Commerce and Arts but I decided that Commerce isn’t quite my thing yet so I’m just sticking to my Bachelor of Arts. I’m majoring in Psychology and.... History!!
I wouldn’t say that that the YA2016NZ trip was the deciding factor for me to major in history: I’ve always been keen on history. But it certainly did help me make the choice.
After I get my degree, I plan to get a teaching diploma and become a secondary school teacher of history and perhaps other social sciences.
Currently I am doing summer school to make up for the time I wasted last year and get my degree moving along too so that I can finish my degree by semester 2 of 2020.
The course I’m taking now is called History 111: Racial Histories which compares how and what avenues did the idea of race affect people in New Zealand and the US, during the colonisation process till now. It’s very interesting because my previous thoughts on the topic are sometimesv alidated,and other times they are challenged.
But more often than not, I am learning and understanding new perspectives.
One thing that I wished could have happened is for everyone to get to Auckland Airport the day before the flight out to France and then hold a quiz night (at the Ibis hotel) so that everyone could bond quicker.
I also think this would have made the lives of our chaperonnes easier if everyone would already be in one place and ready to hop on the plane the next day! (Not that we had any problems with people arriving last minute at the airport.)
Yet even without doing this, everyone still became really good friends (the banters kicked off pretty quick haha) and there wasn’t any unwanted drama being in such a small group.
I also wish that I had the foresight to get each person in my host family (family of 5) a Taonga which would have been more appropriate than gifting them the one (and only one) that I had.
To all YA2018NZ, I wish everyone a safe and happy trip and back