Georgia’s NZ Gap Year Part 2- Arrival and settling in

Posted on the 1st November 2018

Georgia Bone is a Lattitude Volunteer at St Matthew’s Collegiate in Masterton New Zealand. Here she is a schools assistant at a girls’ boarding school, mainly helping in boarding, classroom assisting and library duties.

After orientation in Christchurch I had to fly on to Wellington. This was an interesting experience as the plane was tiny and had propellers! At Wellington airport I was met by Karen, my tutor. She also collected the other girls I travelled with as their school was close to mine. We then had a few ours to spare while waiting for a tutor to arrive from Ulster University, so we decided to venture to the Te Papa Museum.

We arrived at school on Sunday around 8pm, and then started work at 9am the next morning. The first few days consisted of; setting up a bank account, organising our pocket money, setting up an IRD (Inland Revenue) number, getting a SIM card, and buying basic things for the house.

Building a good relationship with the other tutors is vital as they will be your housemate, travel companion and best friend for the year. You’ll cry with them, laugh with them and (hopefully) enjoy being with them. In my case, the other tutor and I bought a car together and planned a two-week trip together for the October holidays. If she had not been heading home for Christmas we would have travelled together then too. It was so important that we had each other, especially when we felt homesick.

Homesickness was something that I dreaded. Back home in the UK, me, my mum, dad and bother are really close. Saying goodbye at the airport was really difficult, one of the hardest things I’ve had to do, in fact. It has, however, been easier than I thought. Thanks to technology such as FaceTime, Skype, and Facebook video call, it’s been easy to stay in touch with loved ones. I got a 3 mobile SIM with international usage and this made it a lot easier to contact home, because I could text or call whenever I wanted to. I didn’t use it that much, but it was nice to know it was there.

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