So, how do I go about this…?
Without a shadow of doubt, I feel immensely sad about leaving Pakuranga College and its students. These three months have definitely been something I hadn’t expected when I first set out to New Zealand. For one, I never thought that I was going to be received with such overwhelming warmth by both the staff and the alumni, nor did I think I would experience such an amount of personal growth, and not for a second did I expect to be this sad of leaving the school. Because all that happened.


The amount of dedication, effort and care that everyone puts into both the classes and their social aspects is something I’ve come across only once in my life, and everyone is willing to help you with no strings attached to it. Even in the grey days of winter people wore smiles regardless, and they were infectious,  for I found myself smiling more often than I had in the months before I came here. Academically, the school is thorough but doesn’t punish mistakes, and I found myself learning something new every day, be it from the teachers inside the classes or from both the students and the teachers outside of them. I want to thank the people who made this experience possible: my agents at Study Union (I love you Carlos!); my parents, whom I thank from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to do something this crazy and for such an extended period of time; the students of Pakuranga College who, be being themselves,  made everything so much more enjoyable; the teachers, who with their unrelenting assault of dad jokes, puns and funny anecdotes always made me leave the classroom with a smile; and the folks at the International Office, whose endeavours ensured that my stay here was indeed a happy one. Words really cannot express my feelings of gratitude towards all the mentioned parties.


Should anyone be looking for a school I’d recommend, and should they be in my same situation, then I’d say Pakuranga College without delay or a second thought.


I had a wonderful time here, and the school was a big part of it.  Everyone saw me as a member of the “team” even when I was an international student staying half a year. That was what made me happy.  The enthusiasm that the teachers put into their lessons, the coaches put into their teams and the ladies of the international office put into our wellbeing, was amazing!  Pakuranga College for me was better than I ever thought possible!


It was an absolutely amazing experience to live a part of my life in a completely different country!   During this whole year, I have made a lot of new friends, seen amazing places and absolutely enjoyed my time here. I don’t think there has been a single moment I have wished not to be here. All in all it was an awesome experience!


Pakuranga College gave me the opportunity to meet some really nice people that I will definitely miss. I went on incredible trips and school activities and especially enjoyed my Outdoor Education class and the great activities we took part in. Teachers and staff were always helpful and friendly and made me feel so happy in this environment.


This school gave me many opportunities and made me feel at home. I enjoyed many activities such as football, dance and drama plus I enjoyed the school talent show and the school production.  I enjoyed lots of things that I could not have done at home in Colombia and I would like to have spent more time at this school!


My decision to spend my year abroad at Pakuranga College was one of the best decisions I have ever made! The basic reason why I wanted to do a year abroad was to improve my English. Through my experience here, I realised that this is not the most important thing you learn while being away from your home country. This is because you don’t only become fluent in a second language, but you also get to know yourself better, and you become more mature in general as a person.  I joined the school 1st Xl hockey team which helped me meet more people and feel comfortable in unfamiliar surroundings.

I will never ever forget probably the most important journey of my life.


My experience at Pakuranga College couldn’t have been better.  All the teachers were lovely and always very caring.  The subjects made me interested in what I was learning and a lot of them involved trips.  All the students were so friendly and always willing to help and that is why the environment at this college is so good and healthy.  I always looked forward about coming to school.  Even when I felt homesick, Pakuranga College made me feel comfortable.  This experience was awesome, not only because I’m in a beautiful country but because of everything else here – the College and the people, are amazing.  It helped me a lot to develop as a person and to know and understand myself better. Now, at the end with all these unforgettable memories, I’m happy to say that Pakuranga College feels like a second family for me.

A peak body for schools supporting
international students in the education sector

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