“I am now much more confident and independent than I used to be. I have learned how to do everything on my own rather than relying on my parents. I feel like I have a stronger mind. It’s amazing how much I’ve grown by becoming independent.”

Kaisei Lee

As a representative of Ikubunkan Institute of Education in Japan, Kaisei is getting his first “taster” of study abroad in Palmerston North City. As a part of his exchange programme, he is studying at Palmerston North Boys’ High School.

“I see my time abroad as a very enjoyable experience. I love my life in New Zealand,” Kaisei says.

“I am proud of my school in New Zealand. An independent style in teaching and learning is different from the way of learning that I was familiar with back home. In some subjects, I can choose topics to focus on and do research about them to prepare for the lessons. Then we present and discuss our preparation in class.”

He says this new learning way inspires his study by allowing him to pursue his interests, practise self-study and encourage independence.

“Outdoor education is my favourite subject. It is what I find most exciting as I can learn a lot from practical skills as well as communication in outdoor activities,” Kaisei says.

The outdoor education programme offers Kaisei the stimulating combination of the challenge of the natural environment, the excitement of connecting with other people and the joy of finding value in one’s self. It is a unique opportunity for him to make friends with others and take control of his own learning and development.

Kaisei is very active. He plays for the First XI football team at Palmerston North Boys’ High School.

“I love playing soccer. Thanks to sports, I have made many good friends who make my life in Palmerston North more meaningful,” he says.

As well as study and soccer, Kaisei does some volunteer work for a non-profit organisation in Palmerston North.

“I help deliver free food and clothes for homeless people. I really enjoy doing it as I can learn from an entirely different experience as a volunteer that I have never had in Japan,” Kaisei says.

Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community and makes him feel that he belongs. Coming from one of the most urbanized cities in the world, Tokyo, Kaisei found some challenges when he first came to New Zealand.

“Everything is different. I found it a little bit difficult in adapting to the new environment, from using English everywhere to getting to know people. However, my friends here made my life much easier.”

“I have changed a lot since moving abroad. By living in an English speaking environment, being surrounded by English every day, my English skills have vastly improved with the help of my supportive teachers and friends.”

“I am now much more confident and independent than I used to be. I have learned how to do everything on my own rather than relying on my parents. I feel like I have a stronger mind. It’s amazing how much I’ve grown by becoming independent,” Kaisei says.

Above all, his New Zealand adventure has ignited in Kaisei a deeper motivation for challenging himself and exploring different angles to the world.

Kaisei Japanese Student in exchange in Palmerston North

Massey PHD student Dabashree Roy 

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