The programme aims to create independence and leadership skills within young adults, through an out of the country experience, where participants are tasked with activities that foster and develop these attributes within an entirely different culture and setting.
The immersion at schools and workshops with industry leaders showcases NZ’s world-renowned education system and aims to inspire students to push their academic and learning boundaries in a full English-language immersion setting.
Further to the academic experiences and leadership development, the programme beautifully highlights NZ’s stunning scenery and famous attractions, with particular emphasis on outdoor education pursuits and the conservation of rare
marine animals, such as dolphins.
DAY 1 – The Adventure Begins:
Today is the day you have been waiting for. You’ll be leaving Almaty, bound for the other side of the world – New Zealand. But first, you get to spend the day at Disneyland, Hong Kong – the happiest place on earth. Enjoy rides, shows, and take selfies with Disney characters! You have 8 hours at Disneyland before making your way back to the airport and jetting off for Auckland.
After an exhausting day at Disneyland, you can sleep away the flight to Auckland.
DAY 2 – New Zealand Arrival:
Your flight arrives at Auckland mid-afternoon, New Zealand time; upon arrival, you’ll travel directly from the airport to the accommodation facilities in the west of the city. We’re sure you’ll be itching to stretch your legs and take a much-needed shower so, after check-in procedures, you’ll have some free time.
Once you’re refreshed and feeling human again, we’ll begin our programme orientation and health and safety briefing so that everyone is aware of what’s going to happen over the coming weeks. There is nothing planned for your first evening in NZ; you can sleep, adjust to your new surroundings, call your parents or get to know your NZ programme coordinators.
Your first dormitory is in West Auckland, in a leafy residential suburb. The rooms have a maximum occupancy of 4 students in a mixture of single and bunk bed configurations. Wi-Fi is available for everybody!
DAY 3 – New Zealand Orientation and Beach Adventures:
Sleep-ins are mandatory today. We won’t begin activities until 10 am, so everyone has a chance to acclimatize. Once you’re awakened and feeling energetic, we’ll start to explore the black sand beaches at Piha – Auckland’s most famous beach – before wandering through a nearby forest.
The Waitakere Ranges are home to more than 16,000 hectares of native NZ forest, with a number of cliffs and waterfalls located within easy walking reach.
Hike through the forest to the Arataki Visitors Centre to learn more about the history of Auckland and the conservation efforts that the park strives to achieve. A relaxing introduction to NZ with initial glimpses to the beautiful natural beauty that lies ahead of you.
DAY 4 – Downtown Auckland Walking Tour:
Auckland is NZ’s largest and most internationally recognized city, as well as being one of the most diverse. Take a walking tour of the most famous sights, including Queen Street and the Viaduct (marina for luxury yachts), and appreciate that NZ is more than sheep, mountains, and beaches.
Following the walking adventure, we will enter the Sky Tower, NZ’s tallest building, for truly breathtaking views of the greater Auckland region. What could cap off our Auckland tour? A buffet, of course. The Sky Tower buffet is delicious and offers a range of NZ foods, such as the famous green-lipped mussels, lamb shanks, and pavlova.
DAY 5 – New Zealand English Class:
NZ is, of course, an English speaking country, and being a Commonwealth Nation, we speak British English. However, over the years, we have added a range of colloquial words that are extremely foreign to anyone who isn’t an NZer.
Today, you’ll have a class, and by the end of it, you should be able to speak like a local. Perhaps you’ll even understand,
Grab your jandals and togs and put them in the Ute beside the chilly bin.
In addition, your teacher will cover commonly spoken indigenous Maori words.
DAY 6 – Innovation and Entrepreneurship Workshop:
NZ is a young, dynamic nation that breeds incredible talent in the entrepreneurial sector. Our views towards innovation and entrepreneurship start young, with these courses taught in the middle years of most schools throughout the country. Today, you’re going to be participating in a workshop designed for beginners in this field of study, led by local experts. The workshop is focused on creating ideas that are innovative, novel, and globally centered. Don’t worry if you’ve never studied this topic; our industry experts will walk you through the processes and explain everything step by step. Remember, innovation and change starts with you, the leaders of tomorrow!
DAY 7 – University of Auckland:
All of NZ’s universities are ranked inside the world’s top-500, with the University of Auckland (UoA) being NZ’s most prestigious and the only one in the world’s top-100 ranking system.
Collectively, NZ universities are ranked the best in the world, something the NZ Education Department is extremely proud of and willing to show off to international visitors like yourself.
The UoA campus is located in the downtown area and is home to more than 45,000 students, making it one of the largest universities in the Southern Hemisphere. At the UoA, you will learn about studying at an elite university and have the opportunity to talk with current students about courses and majors that are of interest to you.
DAY 8 – Hobbiton Movie Set – Lord of The Rings:
In the morning, you’ll depart Auckland and travel to Tauranga – the next host city, 200 km from Auckland. Tauranga is NZ’s nicest coastal city and is home to stunning white sand beaches and natural sights. On the way to Tauranga, you’ll visit the Lord of The Rings (LOTR) movie set near Matamata. The LOTR franchise is one of the highest grossing and most viewed movies in film history, and many LOTR scenes were filmed in the beautiful countryside around Matamata.
You will have a behind the scenes tour of the movie set, where you can enter hobbit houses, hear special stories about Sir Peter Jackson, the director, and marvel at the stunning sights. This experience is world-renowned and one of the most highly rated film experiences in the world.
DAY 9 – Tauranga Hiking and Beaches:
As mentioned, Tauranga is NZ’s nicest seaside city, and today, you will see why. Starting in the morning, we will hike up Mt Maunganui (pictured second from left below) – the hike is stunning, and the trail meanders along through a sheep farm, so you’ll see lots of sheep. Uniquely, large fur seals sun themselves amongst the sheep. After the hike, we’ll visit two famous beaches, Papamoa and Maunganui, to soak in the sun and work on our tans.
In typical NZ style, the day will end with an outdoor BBQ. Learn how to grill the best steaks and make the most delicious homemade beef burgers!
DAY 10 – Surfing Lessons and Outdoor Education:
In Tauranga, surfing is an extremely popular water sport, participated in by children through to seniors. Papamoa Beach is the safest beach to learn how to surf.
Today, we’ll link up with the Hakanini Surf School for lessons – the school provides all the equipment, including drysuits. The experience is totally safe, with a number of professional teachers looking after you at all times.
After surfing lessons, enjoy a range of typical NZ beach games before watching the sunset over the mighty Pacific Ocean.
To fit with our seaside theme, tonight’s dinner will be seafood; a selection of shellfish, salmon, and cod – foods common in most diets on the east coast of NZ.
DAY 11 – Primary School Visit:
Today, you’ll be entering an NZ classroom for the first time through a visit to a local primary school (children aged 5-11 years of age). This visit is going to be very different from your other educational experiences so far in NZ. What makes it different? Well, you’re going to become teachers for the day. You’ll be asked to teach the young NZ children a range of Kazakh words, organise a sports game, and teach a traditional song and/or dance of Kazakhstani origin. The children have never had international visitors at their school before and will be extremely excited to interact with foreigners.
The host school has less than 200 students, which is the typical size of a rural NZ primary school. Photos, friendships, and selfies are encouraged – our aim is to strengthen Kazakh-NZ relations with your visit.
DAY 12 – NZ’s Indigenous Maori:
The Maori are NZ’s indigenous people who arrived in NZ some 600 years before the British settlers. Maori culture is passionately shared and celebrated throughout NZ, and today is your chance to learn about this unique group of people. Maori culture is best experienced through traditional song, dance, haka, legends (mythical stories), and food.
Tamaki Maori Village is the best place to experience this ancient culture, and the buffet style, underground hangi food is something that must be tasted. It’s a taste that is between smoked and steamed in flavoring and can only be tasted in this area of NZ.
DAY 13 – Rotorua’s Geothermal Playground:
The smell of sulphur in Rotorua is very pungent and totally unique to the Central North Island of NZ. You will understand why that smell is so strong by witnessing firsthand a number of small lakes before entering a geothermal wonderland – the geysers are still active (hence the smell) and provide an amazing look into the geothermal world.
Soak in the natural, outdoor hot pools – a very therapeutic experience in the wilderness. Following geothermal activities, you’ll take the gondola (a NZ word for cable car) to the summit of the Rotorua hills and race down the hillside in a luge, which is like a plastic go-kart. The luge is safe, thrilling, and suitable for all sizes and adrenaline junkies, but for the hesitant ones, they have a slow lane available!
DAY 14 – Swim with Dolphins:
Today is going to be an incredible experience for all involved – fulfil a bucket list activity by encountering majestic sea animals in the wild, open waters around Tauranga. The provider offers amazing encounters with dolphins using safe swim bars to hold on to while in the water.
This is an unforgettable experience that is perfect for swimmers of all abilities. During the trip and subsequent boat cruise, you may encounter pods of Orcas (Killer Whales), Humpback, Bryde’s and Pilot Whales, turtles, seals, and other marine and bird life. Excited? We are!
DAY 15 – Local High School Visit:
A co-educational high school in Tauranga has kindly invited you into their school for a day of cultural sharing and observation. Following formal introductions, take a tour of the school campus and learn about the proud history of the Bay of Plenty region. The activities focus on integration, therefore, you will be joining in on regular classes – these classes could be in NZ history, algebra, woodwork, or physical education. The school schedule doesn’t change for your
visit; this is done to provide visitors with an authentic snapshot into a NZ classroom. During recess and lunch break, interact with local students or challenge them to a game of rugby – the most popular sport in NZ.
DAY 16 – Waitomo Glowworm Caves:
Today starts off in a different style, you will be cooking for your programme coordinators for the first time – the roles have been reversed. By the way, bread and jam isn’t an acceptable breakfast dish – they’re looking for 5-star quality!
After your successful cooking mission, visit one of the most stunning natural wonders in NZ, the Waitomo Caves, an underground caving system with thousands of glow-worms that light up in a manner similar to Christmas lights – a truly mind-blowing, surreal experience. You will be guided by a professional spelunker on boats whilst marvelling at this unique attraction in a 100% safe environment.
DAY 17 – Shopping and Souvenirs:
The last day in NZ is reserved for shopping – you will have the opportunity to buy unique gifts for your family and loved ones back in Kazakhstan. Your programme coordinator will take you to a range of shops so you can shop until you drop, or until your spending money runs out. Bartering for goods is prohibited in NZ, but we know the best places to grab a bargain. Tasty NZ chocolates start at less than 1 USD per block, yum! For those who don’t like shopping, we have alternative activities available, such as visiting the beach for the last time or having a coffee in the Auckland downtown area.
Your flight is late in the evening, departing Auckland International Airport. Again, you are flying via Hong Kong back to Almaty.
DAY 18 – The Adventure Ends
Early in the morning, your Cathay Pacific flight arrives in Hong Kong. Unfortunately, there’s no Disneyland visit this time around, you’ll be transferring onto your next flight immediately. You will arrive in Almaty mid-afternoon, Kazakhstan time. By this time, you are probably going to be exhausted. Take a rest, and make sure there are no chores or homework waiting for you on your first day back home!
Featured Image Courtesy: Auckland NZ