King’s is lucky to welcome a number of students each year from Europe. In 2016, we interviewed three of the College’s International students on their study and Homestay experience with us, and their general thoughts about their Kiwi experience.
Why did you choose New Zealand (and King’s College) to study?
Edoardo Notti: I am from Italy and one of my friends came to New Zealand last year and suggested I come here to learn more of the English language and the New Zealand culture. I was searching on the internet with my father and King’s College was rated as the best school in New Zealand.
Christian Dimitrov: I wanted to experience something very di erent to what I had been used to in Austria. I also wanted to improve my English as it is crucial nowadays, in a globalised society, to be proficient in English. I had also attained the highest academic achievements in a predominantly academic school and I wanted to challenge myself to develop further. My parents and I met Michelle Klaassen, International Manager at King’s, who was by coincidence in Vienna when I was looking for a school in New Zealand and as King’s was a known to be a very high achieving school, especially on the sporting and academic level, she said it was the right fit for me, so here I am. I initially came for only two terms but as soon as I started to take part in the life of the College, I decided to complete this year, sit my Cambridge exams, and also do my Year 13 in New Zealand.
Jasmin Kolasinac: I grew up in Serbia. One year ago, I didn’t even know where New Zealand was. My friend came to me and told me waterpolo in NZ was getting quite popular. I got excited about that and I’m always looking for new things to try. So here I am.
What was your first impression of King’s?
Edoardo: King’s impressed me with its school sports. In Italy we have to go to a sports club outside of school to do sports. At King’s you can do everything.
Christian: When I first came to King’s, the size of the Campus left me speechless. It was incomparable to all the schools I had seen in Europe so far. All the people I met – students and staff – were so friendly and willing to assist me in every aspect of my life as an International Student. I’m hugely thankful to those who made things easier for me coming into a new school, especially during the first few weeks.
Jasmin: King’s is a really big school. In Serbia we only have one school building with a football court near it. Here the Campus is massive. On my first day it was a little bit tricky finding my classes! I felt like a tourist with a map and a camera.
What do you like best about King’s?
Edoardo: Sports is what I like best about King’s. Tennis is my favourite sport. I’ve tried hockey for the first time while being at King’s! I wanted to try rugby but I didn’t want to get injured in my only term here! It looks like it’s a VERY physical sport.
Christian: There are so many things that I enjoy about King’s. I like the academic environment as I can interact with a lot of like-minded peers. I also love the social component of the College. We get offered an array of different sporting and cultural activities, as well as doing service to the College and less fortunate people outside of King’s. The endless leadership opportunities we are given also cannot be found everywhere in the world. I really appreciate the House system where you get to feel the incredible House spirit, especially during Inter-House competitions. King’s also offers an all-round education model. It doesn’t only focus on the academic or sporting aspect – it offers a wide range of opportunities and there is something for everyone no matter what your interests are. You just have to take advantage of the opportunities. The Mid-Winter Formal was the first ball I’d ever been to – it was so enjoyable.
Jasmin: I like everything at King’s – 100 per cent: the teachers, friends, the system, everything.
What are your favourite things about being in New Zealand?
Edoardo: I love the culture here. Kiwis are very patriotic about everything – food, sports, especially rugby! I love NZ beef and lamb. I’ve also tried Thai food for the first time here, Chinese food, and Mexican food too. It all tastes good. I’m not a huge fan of dominoes pizza though – it’s very American! I love Kiwi pies – it’s probably one of my favourite NZ foods.
Christian: Living on the coastline and having beaches in front of the doorstep is one of my favourite things about living in New Zealand. But the people I interact with daily are a 1000 times more meaningful for me. School and life can be challenging when your family is so far away, but people here make it better. My favourite food here is the golden kiwifruit.
Jasmin: I’m enjoying the time I get to spend with my Homestay family, and the holidays up north with them. I love being a part of King’s College, and the King’s waterpolo team. My waterpolo team mates are awesome. We’re really good friends and they act like they’ve known me for 15 years. They’re so inclusive. I’ve had no problems fitting in. I also really like my Homestay mum’s chicken! And I’ve tried enchiladas here for the first time.
Favourite Kiwi expression?
Edoardo: G’day! I now also use the word ‘cool’ a lot.
Christian: Cheers, mate.
What are you enjoying the most about your Homestay experience at King’s?
Edoardo: I love all the activities I get to do with my Homestay family. We went skiing, played sports together...I think I was fortunate to land such a great Homestay family and I will definitely keep in touch with them for the rest of our lives.
Christian: My Homestay family is so welcoming, and they really make me feel like home. They have always been willing to assist me wherever they can. We’ve been to the movies, the opera, and to the Planetarium to enjoy some very enjoyable evenings. Coming home after a busy school day and having dinner with my homestay family while chatting about the highlights of my day is so pleasant. They also took me on their family vacation to Coopers Beach where I went kayaking for the first time.
Jasmin: I couldn’t have landed better Homestay parents. They’re wonderful people and really look after me. The Parker Allens are awesome. They accept me as their Serbian son, and Jake and Caitlin are my Homestay brother and sister.