After living and studying here as an international student, Hannah is back in New Zealand four years later, visiting her second home, wearing her much-loved Hillmorton dragon boating hoodie.

Hannah attended Hillmorton High School as an international student from July 2013 – July 2014. She is from Dresden in Germany and chose to come to Hillmorton due to our size, and the range of subjects and activities that are available through the school.

During her year here Hannah maximised her time, both in and outside the classroom. She thoroughly enjoyed studying subjects different to those available in Germany, particularly those with a practical element such as Outdoor Education, Graphics, Home Economics, Dance and Technology Wood. Hannah is still using the small storage box she made in Technology Wood.

Outside the classroom Hannah was involved in ballet classes and dragon boating, where she represented Hillmorton at a range of competitions.

One of the biggest changes Hannah made while living in New Zealand was developing an interest in the outdoors, including tramping and rock climbing. She now regularly tramps and climbs, and will begin training children in rock climbing later this year.

After leaving New Zealand, Hannah returned to her high school in Germany. As part of settling back into life in her own country, she utilised the communication skills she had developed while living here in a culture that wasn’t her own. Further, knowing she was going to be here for only a year, she also learned to do things now, rather than thinking that she’ll do that ‘one day’.

From high school, Hannah broadened her love of travel and linguistic skills, and lived in Panama for a year. While there she taught Physical Education and English, and developed a German programme in a primary school.

Returning to Germany, Hannah is studying psychology at university. She is currently visiting her second home, New Zealand, enjoying travelling around the country seeing the few places she didn’t see when she was here. Most importantly, however, she is catching up with friends and her host mother.

By Pam Hunt

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