Georgia’s NZ Gap Year Part 3- First Term

Posted on the 5th 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.

The first few weeks are used to settle in to your new placement, accommodation and surroundings. They can seem a bit boring and repetitive, but at the same time challenging. It does get easier and more interesting. Something I really struggled with was that the town I was located in was made up of lots of parallel streets that looked so similar. This was difficult navigating when taking girls to and from activities.

Before I could take the girls out by myself, I had to take a defensive driving course which was organised and paid for by the school. This was to ensure my driving was sensible and safe. I was also given the opportunity to partake in a two day first aid course ran by New Zealand Red Cross, so is transferable on return to England.

The first few weekends are a good time to explore the local area with the other gappies. There are two beaches about an hour and a half away from school which are beautiful, even in chilly weather. From talking to the other gappies, it’s difficult to travel just for one day or the weekend, especially on the South Island. New Zealand has a small population and roads and transport are not well developed. Our local train station has one train out into the city at 8am and one return at 9pm. This is something to bear in mind when making plans.

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