Scholar learning Thai to help on trip
Not everyone has meeting a royal family and learning Thai on their to-do lists, but Anabelle Rigby does.
The year 12 Aotea College student is one of eight students nationwide to receive an allexpense paid trip to Thailand.
It’s the second year the scholar- ship has been offered by the Royal Thai Embassy and it is the first time an Aotea student has been in the mix.
Anabelle, 16, said after visiting Cambodia and Vietnam last year she wanted to go back to that part of the world. ‘‘I broke down in tears because I didn’t think I’d get it,’’ she said.
Anabelle has now turned her attention to learning a few phrases in Thai.
‘‘I’ve got a friend who is trying to teach me, but it’s so different.
‘‘ Hopefully I just learn the basics before then.’’
Anabelle said she was most looking forward to seeing the royal palace and hopefully meeting the royal family.
While in Thailand, she will visit schools, each one having at least 3000 students.
Aotea assistant principal Ken Trass said the scholarship was part of Thailand wanting to become a bilingual nation by 2020.
‘‘There is a real focus on improving their English,’’ he said.
He said the school was very proud to be part of the trip.
‘‘Aotea College has an international representative for our college and our school.’’
Scholarship win: Aotea College assistant principal Ken Trass, left, scholarship winner Anabelle Rigby and principal Kate Gainsford.