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Sunday, 04 February 2018 06:50

From YA2016NZ to French student host!

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Heading into 2018, it’s been well over a year since the Young Ambassadors and I were in France as YA2016NZ...

...yet I still remember it as if it were only a month ago!
Looking back on that amazing, whirlwind trip to France, those two weeks were some of the best of my life, and it’s safe to say I still miss the memories a ton.
In 2018, I’m finally going to be starting university! This year, I will be studying a Bachelor of Communication at Massey University Wellington, which will start in a little less than three weeks. I’m definitely more excited than nervous, as I’m ready to get back into a routine after a lazy three months off of school.
There is also a chance that I will be moving to Canada for university in August, 2018! Because I’m a Canadian citizen, I had the chance to apply to Canadian universities as a domestic student.
I applied for a school called McGill in Montréal, Quebec (the French speaking part of Canada!), and am currently waiting to find out if I was accepted or not. So while I am a bit uncertain about how this year will go for me - and what country I’ll end up in - I’m still super excited to see where it takes me.
Year 13 was an interesting year, as I felt simultaneously relaxed and stressed throughout its entirety. Although it was a relaxing year in that I was taking only five subjects - all ones that I really enjoy - my friends and I found ourselves really stressed about the prospect of leaving the comfort of high school for bigger things. I still had a lot of fun, and was very sad to graduate and leave my friends at the end of the year.
Earlier in the year, I got the amazing chance to host an exchange student from France, Marie, for two months!
Marie is a high school student from Northern France, and she is one of the kindest and most intelligent people I’ve ever had the honour of meeting. Spending two months with Marie, whose English far surpassed my French, was life-changing!
I got the chance to share my life and New Zealand’s culture with her, and she fell in love with the country. In return, she taught me everything about life in France that I was unable to learn about in my short, two week trip, and it made me feel like I was back in France again!
The best thing about taking Marie as an exchange student is that I will always have a family in France that will be happy to take me in. I’m hoping that I’ll get the chance to visit Marie in France sometime this year, and I’ll be lucky to have a fantastic tour guide and friend to take me around when I do!

So, to the 2018 Young Ambassadors…
Don’t be nervous about the prospect of heading to a foreign country with a group of people you barely know. In two weeks, you will make the most amazing friends, see the most amazing things, and fall in love with France.
Make the most of your short time there, as I can promise you that you will want to return the second your plane lands back in New Zealand.
Open your mind up to everything you will see and learn, as there will be a lot of new information, and some of it may be hard to digest.
Be respectful of the differences between French and New Zealand culture, and learn to appreciate these differences.
Most importantly, remember how lucky you are to have the chance to visit such an amazing country for such an important commemoration! Out of so many NZ students, you were chosen to go on this trip for a reason, so give yourselves a pat on the back, and have amazing time!

Read 1766 times Last modified on Friday, 09 February 2018 07:04
Lily Polaczuk

Wellington Girls' College


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