Exchange student says she’ll be back
After spending a year as an exchange student in Tokoroa Cathrine Caspari is sure of one thing- she’ll be back.
Caspari, who hails from Norway, has been living with a host family in Tokoroa since January and attending Forest View High School as part of the American Field Service (AFS) international youth exchange programme.
The 17-year-old, who returns to her homeland early next year, said it’s been a life changing experience.
‘‘I come from right outside Oslo, the capital of Norway, so I am lucky to have ended up staying in a small town like Tokoroa which is probably the best part of the whole experience,’’ she said.
‘‘When you start walking around town you start to recognise people and always have someone to say hi to.’’
‘‘The people and culture are so different to what I am used to but it is a really good different. My favourite thing has been the people, culture, and way of living.’’
‘‘Without being mean to my own country New Zealanders are a lot more laid back, a lot warmer when you first meet them, and they are a very welcoming people. You are kind of friends with everyone from the moment you meet them,’’ she said.
Caspari, who plans to one day study medicine or law, said school life has also been different.
‘‘Schooling here is a lot easier. It is a lot more free and you can choose more subjects and what direction you want to study from high school level rather than just from university,’’ she said.
She said she choose to come to New Zealand due to it being out of the ordinary.
‘‘Not many people choose to go to New Zealand but I wanted to learn something totally different and go somewhere new. My host family has been amazing welcoming me into their home and it has been an experience not only for me but for them also because at the same time as they are teaching me about New Zealand culture I am teaching them about Norwegian culture. It is a unique experience.’’
She encouraged families to take on exchange students.
Caspari said she was sad her New Zealand adventure was drawing to a close.
‘‘My mum misses me of course but I will definitely be back,’’ she said.