Culture clash for Tracy in NZ
She admits to getting homesick but is otherwise loving the experience of being in Tokoroa as an exchange student.
Tracy Chua Sheng Ling, 18, who is from Tawau in Malaysia arrived in New Zealand in January and will leave next January.
‘‘ My brother returned from Argentina and I wanted to do the programme too.
‘‘Also to get more experience and to improve my English,’’ she said.
She said New Zealand was her first choice.
‘‘Because it is an English-speaking country and I like the nature because it is really beautiful. I know New Zealand from television because of the tourism.’’ ‘‘It is good. ‘‘It is quite different to my life because I am Chinese so we have different cultures.
‘‘So what we believe may be differ- ent to what people here believe in.’’
‘‘ It has been tough sometimes being away from my friends and family,’’ she said.
‘‘I will appreciate my home more when I go back there.’’
Thanks to Tokoroa’s central location Tracy has been able to travel to Auckland, Hamilton, Rotorua, Taupo and has enjoyed skiing.
She comes from a small town and said that has helped her to fit in.
‘‘Everyone here knows each other. Because I come from a small town I feel more comfortable too.’’
Tracy is enrolled at Forest View High School and said she appreciates the support from staff.
‘‘They (Forest View High School) have a lot more fun things to do and interesting subjects.
‘‘I take music which I also study in Malaysia but here you are given more chances to perform and improve your skills.
‘‘They give you the support you need,’’ she said.
EXPERIENCE: Malaysian exchange student Tracy Chua Sheng Ling.