German exchange student Greta Frech probably didn't expect her time in Northland to look like this, but the Whangārei Girls' High School student has taken on the lockdown as a challenge for a new project.
Greta is among 30 students from across the region to film their experiences of life under lockdown as part of a new initiative to showcase international study experiences in Northland.
She said she chose to come to Northland because it is "one of the hottest places in New Zealand and I really like the nature here".
"The school system in New Zealand is pretty different compared to the German one and it feels more like a family; you do practical things and not just the theory. Outdoor education is a good example of that."
She was loving life with her homestay family, too: "We eat, laugh and live together and we also have little discussions sometimes; you know, just like a real family. I really like and appreciate them."
Greta and the other project participants – Kiwis as well as international students – were selected from nine Northland learning institutions, including secondary schools and NorthTec.
In the latest video challenge, students were asked to record what they missed most about life before Covid-19 restrictions, and what they had most enjoyed about lockdown life.
"The video challenge was designed to provide the students with a creative outlet during lockdown," said Jo Lees, project manager for Study Northland, the international education arm of Northland Inc.
Lees said that besides engaging students in Northland's culture and environment, it would help to highlight the amazing experiences international students are exposed to in the region.
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"It will be relevant to both international student markets as well as people in other parts of New Zealand who might be considering a move to Northland."
The programme would also involve the students co-designing future activities, including collaborations with local businesses and charities.
"We will be introducing students to some unique Northland people, experiences and places, too. We hope that through our ambassadors sharing their experiences, they will inspire others to come to study in this wonderful region in the future," Lees said.
Study Northland was established in 2018 to strengthen and support international education throughout New Zealand.
For more information on Study Northland's strategic objectives, visit: