April 2018

Auf Wiedersehen und bis bald!

Over a week has passed since our German exchange students from Ernst-Haeckel Gymnasium flew home to Werder, and it's crazy to think that after living with someone for three weeks, I won't see her again for a whole year.

When they arrived, I was really excited to meet my exchange partner, Gina and make some new friends, but at the same time, I was nervous and had no idea what to expect. The first week was spent around the College and looking at local sights like Piha, Arataki, Rangitoto, and more. In the second week, the German group spent a week touring New Zealand's North Island. In the last week, they got to see more of Auckland and also spent a lot of time with the host families.

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For me, the best part of the exchange wasn’t going to interesting places, but introducing someone to a new culture and experiencing theirs as well. On one night I took Gina to the supermarket, and all the things that are normal to me were so foreign to her. At one point she held up a bottle of tomato paste and just laughed and I was so confused. Another time her and my friend's exchange partner made dinner for me and my friend, and I found it so interesting to have a small insight into their culture.

Overall, it was such a rewarding experience to be able to introduce someone to what my life is like and hear about what theirs was like too. I can't wait for the opportunity to go to Germany in a year's time and visit the new friends I've made and make some memories of my own.     

Rachel Barrowman, 12PR

China Cultural Exchange 2018: Student Feedback

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The trip was a memorable one for all of us. It allowed us to experience Chinese culture and learn about how Chinese people live their every-day lives, courtesy of our very welcoming host families. 

We arrived in the mega city of Shanghai, an amazing city filled with great food, people and sights. It was definitely the most diverse place that we visited with people from all parts of the globe living there. Here we viewed the towering glass skyscrapers and even travelled up to a 100-storey floor - it was a little terrifying staring down through the glass floor but the amazing view of the city was mesmerising from such heights.

From Shanghai, we took the bus to Hangzhou, where we were welcomed by friendly students and teachers at Greentown our sister school. Our first meeting with our homestays saw us watching the school’s afternoon lawn music. It was great seeing the Greentown students up on stage and singing for their peers. The homestays themselves were fabulous, and we had so many new food and cultural experiences! But, as a group we can all agree that we are so pleased our school in NZ doesn't start at 7.30am and finish at 4.50pm! The students we met were so friendly and we will keep in contact with them in the future.

Anji was our next destination. A memory we cannot forget was Hello Kitty Hotel. We made the most of our one night stay in this luxury hotel where we felt like royalty, pampered with trips to the indoor swimming pool and the magnificent breakfast that was served - pancakes and Danish pastries! In the beautiful city of Anji we explored a vast bamboo forest, where tall green trees covered the slopes of an enormous mountain, which many in our group managed to climb. It was also very interesting to see how the people living in the area were able to make so many objects such as furniture and toys just out of bamboo.

Our final destination was Beijing - never have we done so much shopping in our lives! From silk to electronics to souvenirs and all the (imitation) branded clothing in the world, we had such a blast bargaining with very persuasive shop owners! We also can't forget the Great Wall, where after a challenging climb, we could gaze out across the expansive Chinese countryside. It was a day we will always remember! The Forbidden City opened our eyes and gave us an insight into the past, where we felt more connected to China’s long history. Not to mention, the architecture which was detailed and intricate.

Over the span of two weeks, we have all developed new friendships within our group and we can now proudly say we have friends back in China.

The 2018 China trip has been an unforgettable experience and a great learning opportunity for us all. Our time in the wonderful country of China will stay with us forever.

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Student Executive attend ANZAC Day Ceremony

The College was well represented at the Anzac Day Service at May Road, by a large number of Student Executive members. Head Girl, Danielle Matthews delivered the Reading, members of the College Choir sang and Danielle and the Deputy Head students, Rishabh Baptista and Melina Samuels, laid the wreath.

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Jia Dua Awarded Prestigious Robertson Scholarship

An exceptional young woman who wants to make a difference by working on the ethical complications arising from technology has been awarded the prestigious Robertson Scholarship to study in the US.

Jia Dua, aged 18 from Lynfield (Auckland), will take up her scholarship to study at Duke University, a leading private university in Durham, North Carolina.

The Robertson Scholars Leadership Program was established by American philanthropist Julian Robertson, and funds young leaders each year from around the world, including New Zealand. The Program is valued at about NZ$100k per year for up to four years, and covers the scholar’s study, living and travel costs. Scholars also participate in summer internships, research or international community projects.

Jia attended Lynfield College where she was deputy head girl in 2017. Gifted in advanced physics, calculus, computing and web design, she was among the top students academically in her cohort throughout high school, receiving four NZQA Scholarships, including an Outstanding Scholarship in Geography. She mixes her passion for STEM subjects, with a love of the arts—singing in the National Rockquest; national finalist in the Play it Strange songwriting competition; and slam poetry. Jia also won the Auckland Impromptu Cup in debating, among other debating accolades.

Robotics has been an interest for several years. As well as winning national and international robotics competitions, Jia helped establish a Robotics Mentoring Programme at Lynfield College to give students an opportunity to explore what sparks their interest by tinkering with different aspects of robotics in a friendly and supportive environment.

Robotics has been an interest for several years. As well as winning national and international robotics competitions, Jia helped establish a Robotics Mentoring Programme at Lynfield College to give students an opportunity to explore what sparks their interest by tinkering with different aspects of robotics in a friendly and supportive environment.

In 2015 she was chosen by then Mt Roskill MP, Phil Goff, to be his Youth MP, and became involved with the Youth Parliament. Since then she has worked to involve more young people in political decision-making processes and to create a stronger platform for youth to have their voices heard on pressing community issues.

“For youth motivated to catalyse change but lost in the drudgery of politics, it’s easy to feel dwarfed by the magnitude of social problems. I’m impassioned in my role as a Youth MP because I believe that being informed is an impetus to being influential,” says Jia.

“Patient, inclusive, and relentlessly enthusiastic: these are the words that define my own mentors and the words I aspire to embody as a leader in STEM. My own achievements are a byproduct of the generosity of others, so I hope to lead by giving back, especially to those underrepresented: fighting against the biases and undermined opportunities that currently anchor science. Our talented female scientists belong at the frontlines. I aspire to lead with strength, advocacy, and action to get everyone there.”

John Taylor, Chair of the Robertson Scholarship Selection Committee says, “Jia is a very talented all-rounder, with strong leadership instincts and abilities that will enable her to give a lot to, and to gain a lot from, the Robertson Scholarship Leadership Program.”

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