Gaining the personal skills for success
Vietnamese student Lexie Vi says the four years she has spent studying in New Zealand have made her more confident and outgoing.
Leaving home for the first time, learning in an English-language environment, making friends with people from other cultures and living with a Kiwi family in a homestay are among the new experiences that helped Lexie to broaden her horizons.
When she first arrived in Wellington as a high school student in 2013, Lexie found that the school system here was less pressured and more flexible than back home in Viet Nam.
“I was quite shy in the first term, especially because of my English, but that started to get better. The students were really friendly, so I gained confidence and made friends,” she says.
My parents are very protective of me and would have worried about me if I hadn’t adjusted well, but when I told them how much I liked it here they were really happy. Now they’re looking forward to coming to New Zealand for my graduation.
Lexie’s parents suggested she study in New Zealand because it was safe, beautiful and had a high-quality education system. She spent three years at Wellington East Girls’ College before returning home to Viet Nam to decide what to do next.
After high school, Lexie realised she had become independent enough to want to set her own goals for the future – including returning to New Zealand.
“I decided to set myself the goal of going back to New Zealand for university and then finding a job there. I feel like New Zealand is my home now,” she says.
I decided to set myself the goal of going back to New Zealand for university and then finding a job there. I feel like New Zealand is my home now.
Lexie is now in the first year of a three-year Bachelor of Education at Victoria University of Wellington. She has a part-time job as a waitress, plays netball and enjoys going to cafes and the beach with friends.
“Coming to New Zealand has made me more open-minded and flexible,” she says.
“I can think for myself now.”
About the contributors
Linley Boniface is a contract writer for Education New Zealand. She is based in Wellington, her favourite city in New Zealand. A former journalist, Linley spent a year in Montreal, Canada, as a secondary school student.