Hero photograph
Photo by Bridgitt Robinson

Life as an International Student

Homare Ikeda —

Homare Ikeda - her story about her time at RHS

I started riding horses when I was six years old. It was my little hobby back then but I built up a lot of skills and I started to think if I went overseas, I could learn more about horses because horse riding in Japan is not very famous. My mother did a lot of research and helped me to get ideas of what an overseas education would be like, and we got information about Rangiora High School.

I came to visit Rangiora High School with my mother when I was 14 years old. I absolutely loved it here because the school is surrounded by nature and the school has horses, therefore I decided to go to Rangiora High School.

Image by: Bridgitt Robinson

I flew to New Zealand after I finished Junior High School in Japan in 2017 and I have been studying here for three and a half years. The school work was initially hard for me due to language barriers, though I always tried my best. When I was in Year 11, I received a cup at the Year 11 Prize Giving for academic achievement as an international student. This encouraged me to try everything I can and never give up.

Image by: Bridgitt Robinson

The great thing about being an international student at Rangiora High School is that they do trips to a lot of different places in New Zealand. I joined a few of these with other international students and it was really fun. I became friends with people who come from different countries.

I also learnt a lot of things about horses and I also improved my riding skills. I joined the local pony club and I did a few events which was a great experience for me. I also learnt to drive and gained my New Zealand drivers' license.

Image by: Bridgitt Robinson
Sport — Image by: Supplied

I had such a lovely host family who became like my real family. They welcomed me into their family and taught me about New Zealand culture. I spent my first Christmas and New Year in New Zealand with them and I really enjoyed it.

In 2020, I gained University Entrance and I decided to apply to a Japanese university for 2021 to study veterinary science. I always wanted to be a vet since I started horse riding and New Zealand’s culture with animals inspired me more. These days English is essential for this kind of job and all the experience I’ve had in New Zealand will hopefully lead to my future career.

My dream was to fly home to Japan to sit the Japanese university entrance exam and then return to New Zealand to participate in the Year 13 Graduation event. Unfortunately due to COVID 19, I cannot return to New Zealand after I leave here on the 15th of October 2020.

Image by: Bridgitt Robinson
Image by: Bridgitt Robinson

Thank you to all the people who have made it possible for me to get where I am today. Mostly thank you to my mother, and international teachers, without them, I would have never met my beautiful host family, my friends, and teachers who made my life in New Zealand memorable.