Cul­ture clash for Tracy in NZ

South Waikato News - - NEWS - By ADEN MILES

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.

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