28 April 2020

Lockdown Q&A with Leo from Germany

Leonidas Sidiropoulos
High School student from Germany.

Leo, an international student from Germany, goes to Whangarei Boys High School and is currently in lockdown with his host family in Northland, New Zealand.

Leo is in New Zealand until July and has really enjoyed playing hockey here. He was selected for the school first eleven hockey team and was very disappointed when the start of the hockey season was delayed due to Covid-19.   

But with the recent news that all hockey games are cancelled in Germany until August, Leo may extend his time in New Zealand, to make the most of the hockey-playing opportunities he will hopefully have here.

We asked Leo how lockdown was going for him and here are his responses including some tips to help other students:

1. What have been the best and worst things about lockdown?

The best thing in lockdown so far have been the competitions we’ve been playing in darts, mini-golf and other board games like Monopoly and Risk with my host family. 

The worst things in lockdown so far have been that I can’t meet friends and teammates from hockey and from school. 

2. How have you been staying motivated and/or what have you been doing to relieve stress?

I’ve been running every day or working out at home. I’ve also been going for quarantine walks with my host family or playing hockey on a piece of hockey turf in the garage. I’ve even grown a little garden of lettuces and carrots!

3. How have you been communicating with family and friends? How often?

I’ve actually communicated more with my family in lockdown than before. Either over facetime or just by texting. This could be because there is more to discuss and way more to talk about – and more time.

I also sometimes communicate with friends on the House Party app or by texting and sending memes or videos.

4. What has your host family been doing to support you?

My host family always does their best to keep the mood upbeat. We cook together, we have different competitions as I mentioned before and we go outside for walks.

5. How has your school been supporting you?

The international office from my school has stayed in contact with my host family and me –  they’ve been asking how we are doing and if everything is going well. We also have nice video conference classes in physics which keep us busy.

6. What are your top tips for other international students in lockdown?

My top tips for other international students in lockdown are to go outside every day either for a run, to skateboard or even just a walk. Don’t stay locked in your room the whole day and try to spend some time with your host family. If you have pets you can also go outside with them or play inside with them. I think it's important to go outside and keep the mood upbeat.  

More information

For official COVID-19 information for international students in New Zealand, see The coronavirus: what you need to know.

Check out some more stories from international students in lockdown in New Zealand and get their tips for staying connected and well.

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About the contributors
Leonidas Sidiropoulos
High School student from Germany.