4 April 2018

How Studying at High School in New Zealand Enhanced My Future | Study With New Zealand

Marte Rolvsjord
Norwegian high school student

Marte shares how her time studying in NZ changed her as a person and better prepared her for her future. A year ago I packed my bags and left my life as I knew it. At the time I didn’t know what lay in front of me.

If someone had asked me a year ago what the toughest thing I’d done in my life was, I would have said “leaving home to study in New Zealand”. Without doubt. Now, I’d answer with “leaving New Zealand”. I won’t say that studying in New Zealand was all fun and easy because it really wasn’t. But it changed me for the good. It made it more clear to me what I want to do in life, who I am and what I value. 

Coming to New Zealand, I had pretty much nothing, just hope. Hope that I had made the right decision to leave, that I would have a good year, that I had chosen the right school to study at, and that I would make friends. Now that my year has come to an end, I can hands down say that studying in New Zealand is the best decision I’ve ever made. Of course I had moments when I regretted my decision, asking myself “why am I doing this?”, but in the end I’m happy for all the joys, disappointments and everything else I’ve felt during my year abroad.

What I learned at school

When coming to New Zealand, I didn’t think I would learn as much as I did academically. I was so wrong. My year at Roncalli College turned out to be the school year in which I learned the most. Being in such an inspiring environment with hard-working students and helpful, caring teachers really woke me up to how great the education there is

Support during studying is important.


I was given an enormous amount of opportunities while studying in NZ and I’m grateful for every single one of them. I got the chance to be a student ambassador for Education New Zealand, sharing my experiences to inspire other students. I was also lucky enough to travel around most of the South Island, as well as having a week exploring Northern Queensland in Australia. I got to try activities most people only dream about doing such as snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef, skydiving and bungy jumping. But, the opportunity where I learnt the most was being an International Student Leader at my school. I will carry everything that I learnt during that experience with me into the future - it gave me a lot of belief in myself and definitely made me step up and take responsibility. All of these experiences really opened up my eyes to how lucky I am and how big this world really is.

What I learnt about myself

I’ve learned more about myself than I thought was possible. I discovered new abilities I didn’t know I had and I discovered how important values such as family and tradition is for me. It prepared me for the future by moving out of home and getting a fresh start. It made me more secure about who I am and who I want to be. Of course there were struggles along the way. I had half a week in hospital midway through my year abroad, but I think that week was the one where I learned the most about myself. 

Students in New Zealand wearing school uniform

Making friends

In the first few weeks at school, I struggled with making friends. With time it all got better and I managed to get friends who I don't know what I would do without today. I made friends from Norway, Fiji, Canada, Thailand, New Zealand and everywhere in between. I really can’t thank my host family, friends, peers, and the international department and staff at Roncalli College enough for the support and opportunities I've been given during my year. 

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About the contributors
Marte Rolvsjord
Norwegian high school student

Marte is a Norwegian high school student, currently studying at Roncalli College in Timaru. Marte chose to study in New Zealand because she wanted to improve her English, experience a new culture and do something “out of the box”. She hopes her experiences will help inspire others to live and study in “this amazing country. It’s impossible not to love New Zealand.”