Ohaupo's Zac Leet-Guinan (17) admits he didn't think much of Shakespeare's writings when he was first introduced to them.
"But once the words became more familiar and I analysed the meaning behind them I developed a much better understanding."
Playing the role of Mercurio in a production of Romeo and Juliet also gave him an insight into "an amazing character".
Shakespeare's words now flow comfortably off the student's tongue and he rates the writer a 'genius'.
In a roundabout way Shakespeare has also provided Zac with "an incredible opportunity".
He is just one of 24 students selected from around 5500 candidates to be a member of the prestigious Shakespeare Globe Centre NZ Young Shakespeare Company next year.
Zac and his teacher (Jacqui Wheeler) from St John's College will travel to London for three weeks to take part in Shakespeare-themed workshops and activities.
"It's a little bit scary to think I'll be performing in the Globe Theatre, but I'm really looking forward to it."
Zac says he has technically been overseas before (as he was born in Australia), but he can't remember coming to New Zealand, so he counts going to England in July 2013 as his first big trip.
Before then he has to raise $8500 to cover airfares, accommodation etc, so he's hoping to get more shifts from his part-time employer, The Woodbox, and he's lining up some fundraisers such as sausage sizzles.