Message from NewZealand

Maaya (NZからのメッセージ)


 Which is the perfect school life for you? A glamorous one in Japan or slow living in New Zealand? Hi guys! I’m Maaya Hashimoto and I’m in the 9th month now as a 12th Year “JK”, which means “high school girl” in Japanese. Are you wondering, “I want to study overseas, but I feel worried because I don’t really know about life in foreign countries”? Well, let me tell you three differences between Japanese JK and Kiwi JK from my experiences.
 Firstly, the first thing that comes to mind about high school life, would be the school uniform. As you know, we have two types of uniform in Japan: a sailor-style and a blazer style. Most of you wear a sailor-style uniform in your junior high school, don’t you? In contrast, in NZ, a blazer-style is the mainstream style. This style is much lighter than the Japanese one, and easier to put on and take off! You can choose a school blazer or a jacket in my high school, Hastings Girls High School (HGHS).
 Secondly, a must-have for school is a school bag! I used to use my school bag and backpack in Japan. On the other hand, all students in HGHS have only backpacks. When I heard this, I only half believed it, but actually one backpack is enough to go to school with in NZ! We have so many kinds of practical classes such as art or P.E. that we don’t need to bring a lot of textbooks or notebooks. That’s pretty chill, right? However, you have to move to the next class with your bag because you don’t have your own classroom. That’s a little bit annoying.
 Now, lastly, is lunchtime which is our favorite time at school! Basically, in Japan, everyone brings obento which is made by their mum, but students in NZ make their own lunch! My friends often bring sandwiches for lunch! …What? You forgot your lunch? All good! You can get something from the bakery in Jin-ai, and here at HGHS, there’s a cafeteria. Moreover, there’s a difference in how the students spend their lunchtime. They have 40 minutes in Jin-ai and enjoy chatting with friends after eating. In HGHS, they have to sit down and eat for the first 30 minutes and the latter half is free time. Many of them play sports such as netball and volleyball.
 So, with all that information, which one is your favorite? I would be happy if you found this interesting. For me, who wanted to enjoy both sides of the life in Japan and NZ, Eiryu course was perfect. Lots of exciting things is also waiting for you in NZ!
 Thank you for reading.
Maaya Hashimoto

 皆さんにピッタリなのは華やかな日本の高校生活?それともスローライフなニュージーランド?こんにちは!ニュージーランド生活9ヶ月目、12年生の橋本真碧です。留学をしてみたいけれど、海外の高校生活がどんなものかわからなくて不安!今回は、そんなあなたに日本とニュージーランドの両方で高校生活を送った私が「日本のJK VS ニュージーランドのJK」を紹介します!
 まず高校生活で思い浮かぶのは、毎日着る制服ですよね!皆さんも知っている通り、日本には2種類の制服があります。セーラー服とブレザーです。中学校ではほとんどの人がセーラー服を着ていたのではないでしょうか。対してニュージーランドではブレザータイプが主流になっています。日本の制服と違うところは、軽くて脱ぎ着がしやすいところです!私が通っているHastings Girls High School(以下HGHS)の制服は指定のブレザーかジャケットを選ぶことができます。




 Hello, my name is Ayaka Morota and I go to Central Hawke’s Bay College. I’m enjoying the last holiday with my host family and my friends now. Today I would like to share two things with you.
 The first topic is my favorite class, DRAMA. My classmates are very individual and active as if I were in a zoo, so my teacher always says to us, “Hey animals, be humans!!” However, to be honest, I didn’t like DRAMA very much at first because I had to perform in front of everyone. One day, we had to do an impromptu performance. My friend said, “Go-! Ayaka-!” Then, to be honest, I thought, “If you say that, I will feel pressured!” After the performance, my friend said, “You have a great imagination!” and also my classmate said, “You are funny!” I just kept thiking I didn’t want to do it because it’s embarrassing if I would fail. But, at that time, I noticed people can change just by taking a step forward and being brave. Now, I can do a lot of new things without the fear of failure and perform by myself.
   The second topic is my host mother. There is only the two of us. We always watch TV, make some food and go out together. She is my second mother and also my best friend! I learnt a lot of things from her. Of course, Besides learing English from her, I also learn valuable things in my life. She taught me to respect and think about others, as well as to think before I act and never forget to show gratitude. In addition, the magical word “Please”! Also, thanks to her, I learned to like reading books! When I was in Japan, I didn’t read books at all because I thought watching movies is more fun and easier than reading books. The first time I read an English book, I could only read 10 pages in a month and I thought, “I feel empty… I can’t read!!” However, after a while I stareted to read every day. I now enjoy reading books and I’m reading the sixth volume of Harry Potter! My current goal is to read through the whole series before returning to Japan! I really appreciate my host mother encouraging me to read.
   Lastly, studying abroad wasn’t just fun. I was homesick, I felt depressed and worried about not being able to speak English well and the cultural differences and values. I also worried that I wouldn’t get along with my host mother and my friends. However, I think that I have grown a lot and accepted those differences. I am enjoying my life, learning from my mistakes, and moving forward. During these 9 months, I cried a lot, laughed a lot and I could meet my new self.
   I’m grateful to my parents, teachers, friends and my host mother who have supported this study abroad and me. I’m always able to do my best thanks to their encouragement, gentle words and good advice. Also, to my mum and dad, thank you for letting me study abroad. I have gained precious experiences and have learnt a lot from them. Also, when I came to NZ, I realized I always counted on you. I want to work hard until I see you so I can show you how I have grown a lot and become a more mature person! Thank you for reading till the end!
   I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone in November.
Take care of yourself.
Lots of love,





 Hello everyone. I’m Mayu. I’m a Tauraroa Area School student in New Zealand. My school is in the countryside, and we need 30 minutes to go to town by car from here. I love this place in the countryside and my neighbors here. I have spent 9 months in NZ and am enjoying my time with my friends and family everywhere. I felt it was a long time to live here at first, but now I’m missing those times. I have got a lot of fun experiences. I have been in many difficult situations as well. I would like to share with you my story.
 There are unique classes in NZ which are not in Japan. I was longing for drama class. I really wanted to take classes in which I can have many activities, so I chose drama, physical education and music for my timetable. Almost all of the drama students are unique and pleasant. When I was frozen up, someone talked to me. During class, some people are dancing and singing. That class is so exciting. Of course, I’m joining them to dance and sing.
 When I was first acting, I didn’t even know what the drama was. I did good acting on my first show thanks to my mates. They told me anything gently one by one. I became to like everything about drama after that. I’m working really hard on drama class now.
 At the beginning of term 3, we made some groups to do devising. I made a pair with a boy. We decided our theme is “TIME”. The boy actually didn’t try to cooperate with me. I kept coming up with many ideas for us but he just said, “Sorry, I really don’t have ideas”, every day. One day I promised him that we will come to drama classroom at lunchtime to do our devising, but he was gone somewhere. That continued for 10 weeks. That was the first time for me to feel the worst in drama. My feeling was I really did not want to go to drama class because that was just stressful to me at that moment. However I didn’t give up. I didn’t drop drama. Instead, I talked with him a lot. We practiced our act more. Other students gave us great help, too. Finally we made it thanks to everyone. To be honest, I didn’t think our devising would be good. However, our teacher said to me “You are doing great work” at last class of the term. At that moment, I was able to be proud of myself. I think that my decision that I didn’t drop drama class was absolutely right.
 There were a lot of times I really wanted to give up or stop, but there are a lot of times I am happy that I didn’t give up as well. Fun moments are coming after a hard time. Recently we’ve got many tests in all our classes, so I keep being worried, but when I get “Excellent” for my test result, I’m able to work harder. I think it is important to carry on everything if you want to have a fun experience. I’m spending my time carefully.
Thank you for reading to the end.
Love and Hug
Mayu Morioka




Mimi (NZからのメッセージ)


 Hello, I’m Mimi Maeba. I go to Hastings Girls’ High School (HGHS). My school is an only girls’ high school among our host schools. I think that many people in Japan who want to study abroad may hope to go to a coeducation school. Actually, I thought the same thing before I came to New Zealand. However, I’m spending a great time studying abroad at an all girls’ school now. So, let me share the reasons why I am enjoying my experiences in New Zealand with such wonderful friends and teachers at such a wonderful school.
 My school has about 700 students from year 9 to 13. They spend school life in a relaxing way while understanding and respecting each other. Also, HGHS is an ideal place to study abroad since many international students come here. In my school code, we can’t use our own cellphones. It’s an annoying code for kiwi students, but it’s good for international students because we talk with kiwis more. I’m year 12, but I sometimes take classes for year 11. International students can choose their own subjects. I take science, math, ESOL, DVC, fabric design, and history. I recommend the first grade students in Study Abroad Course to take lots of subjects in which you can create something because the classes year 11 to 13 are mixed together, so they can make different aged friends. Most of the students are interested in different cultures and talk to the international students, so I made lots of wonderful friends. I was really surprised at HGHS that the kiwi students care about the international students when we are alone. I love how kind the students are to me. Then, next, let me introduce my best kiwi friends.
 Please look at the photos. It’s my lunch group. They are kind and funny. The girls have strong personalities and don’t stop talking and laughing anytime. One of my friends Zoe loves a Japanese word, “hokkyokuguma” and I don’t know why, but she always calls me it. Apparently, it’s a hard word to pronounce for her, so she can’t say it correctly. We have great conversations, especially when we talk about our love life. I feel it’s universal. They are such a funny group, but they can be serious. When I was upset about my friend, they hugged me and told me that if I don’t want to say about it, it’s okay, but I’m able to come and see them, so I don’t need to be upset. After that, they stayed by me for a while. The best thing I got during this studying abroad program was meeting them. If I didn’t meet them, my studying abroad life wouldn’t be so fun. Also, I’m really sad I have to leave here in November. My kiwi friends have taught me that I want to be a person who is not only supported, but can also support my friends.
 About nine months have passed since I came to New Zealand. As my seniors said, time really has flown and the remaining days must go even more quickly. Actually, the time here wasn’t easy for me, and sometimes I had more difficulties than good memories and wanted to go back to Japan. However, thanks to the people who have supported me like my teachers, study abroad agency, my friends, my family and New Zealanders, I’m loving this New Zealand life and I’m doing my best for my last month in New Zealand. I’m happy to have the opportunity to study abroad in Hastings. Thank you for reading.
Best regards,
Mimi Maeba

 こんにちは!ヘイスティングガールズハイスクール(HGHS) に通う前波心美です。私の通う高校は英語留学コースの生徒が通うホスト校の中で唯一の女子校です。今留学したいと考えている方の中には、女子校よりも共学がいいな、と考える人も少なくないかと思います。実際、私も現地での学校生活が始まるまでは同じことを考えていました。しかし、私は現在素晴らしい留学&女子校生活を送っています。そこで、ここでは最高の友達や先生に囲まれながら楽しめている素晴らしい学校での生活を紹介させてください。
 現在、ニュージーランドに来て約9か月が過ぎました。先輩方がおっしゃっていたようにこっちに来てから時間が過ぎるのはあっという間で、残りの1ヶ月も一瞬で過ぎていくのだと思います。正直この9か月間は楽しいことよりも辛いことのほうが圧倒的に多く、日本に帰りたいと思うときも何度かありました。しかし、私を支えてくれる人たちのおかげで今は楽しい時間のほうが多くなり、残り一ヶ月も自分のできる限り頑張ろうと思っています。最後に、ここまで私を支えてくださった仁愛の先生方、Education focusの方々、英留の友達、私の家族そしてNZの方々、長い間サポートしていただきありがとうございます。ヘイスティングで留学できる機会がもらえて、本当に幸せです。




   Hi, I’m Mayu and I’m studying abroad in Whanganui. My city is the oldest city in New Zealand. We can swim in the river called Whanganui River, go fishing there, go to Morning Market every Saturday or go shopping and watch movies in the town. There are also wonderful people who live here. When we pass each other, most people greet me, and sometimes we have a small talk. Even when I needed someone’s help, they gave me a hand soon, so I’m really glad to be a part of this lovely city for 10 months.
   About 8 months were over in a flash, but it was the most meaningful and valuable period in my life. Honestly, I didn’t imagine how hard it was to leave my family and live in a foreign country. In the beginning, it was a succession of hard fighting and failing. I cried many times because everything wasn’t going well, and I became crushed by stress and impatience. But now, my study abroad is fulfilling because I’ve never given up, and there are many supports.
   One of the purposes of my study abroad is “to share the cultures”. I wanted to know what kind of Japanese culture is known abroad, and I thought it’s a privilege for exchange students to be able to see what another traditional or modern culture are with our own eyes and experience them. I had opportunities to watch HAKA and my friends taught me how to do Poi. In NZ, club activities are different in each term, we can choose classes whatever we like, and most children start a part-time job or housework when they are a young child. I learned new things, but I can’t write all of them in this limited essay. Especially, what is interesting for me is hugging and kissing culture. In NZ, we hug and kiss on the cheek as a greeting with family, teachers, friends, and even people we have never met before. As you know, we don’t have a culture like this in Japan, so I was quite confused and it wasn’t a comfortable thing for me, at first. But I respect it now because I’m getting to understand that it’s a loving expression and it’s a cue to get close to each other.
   Tattoos are also quite interesting to me. In NZ, many people get some tattoos because it has meaning like a mark of their family or themselves, an expression of love with their partners, or the symbol of their culture. However, it’s said that tattoos are not a good thing in Japan, and some places do not allow people with tattoos to enter. The other day, I discussed this with my host family, and it was a precious time for me to think about.
   NZ is one of the countries that accepts many exchange students from overseas, so I was able to learn not only about NZ culture, but also other cultures such as Germany, the Philippines, Hong Kong, France, and Italy. By knowing different cultures, I feel like I could see Japan from different visions. Moreover, I actively joined some activities to share Japanese culture such as teaching origami and calligraphy to my classmates in class, cooking Japanese food for many of my acquaintances, and I talked about education in Japan with my teachers. I’m sure that many people became interested in Japan through those experiences.
   Another purpose of my study abroad is “improving my English”. I still remember clearly that three months were a struggle for me. I was shocked because people spoke English dozens of times faster than I expected. I felt lonely because just I couldn’t understand even one phrase, and it was hard to build a good relationship with people around me because I couldn’t understand and speak English.
   However, I overcame that problem, thanks to my classmates actually. About two months after I came here, I had a class training camp and we discussed facing up to what we were then. I found others had the same hard situation like mine, and they were trying to figure them out. They gave me a big power. I won’t forget the special memory that we couldn’t stop talking until 4 am, and then our eyes were swollen from crying the next day forever (haha). I made a list of what I had to do based on my classmate’s advice. My anxiety disappeared and I had just confidence at that moment. It took a long time to get everything well, but now, I can share my opinions in classes, laugh with friends until we tear up, and I can talk about many subjects with my host family. And I think my English is improving little by little. It’s still not perfect and fluent; even I find a word I don’t know every day. Also, if I stop this 10 month effort for learning English after I go back home, it must be left halfway done, so I’m gonna keep studying.
   Thanks to people supporting me, I could come here to study abroad, which not everyone can do. I can’t say thank you enough. Through this study abroad, I had an opportunity to face myself and grew up in mind and body. Then I again realized I love English.
Thank you for reading.
Lots of love,

Mayu Fujibe