German exchange student Lisa Schmitz has fallen in love with New Zealand during her six months in the country and hopes to return to live here after completing her degree at F H Dortmund University of Applied Sciences.
"The people here are so open and friendly and the countryside is amazing. I definitely want to go back," she says.
Lisa entered into the Bachelor of Applied Management at CPIT (now Ara Institute of Canterbury) and was impressed by the experienced lecturers and the small class sizes.
"The lecturers really make an effort to talk to you and the smaller classes are great as I am used to up to 300 people in a class in Germany," she says.
Her classes have been filled with people from different backgrounds and cultures and she has particularly enjoyed getting to know students from Asia. "It's exciting to hear everyone's experiences and getting to know different cultures," she says.
Lisa has enjoyed her time outside of the classroom too, studying in the library and eating at on-campus restaurant Visions, which is run by students. The recreation centre on campus has become one of her favourite hang-outs.
She has had the chance to travel around much of New Zealand and even went bungee jumping in Queenstown. The kindness of Kiwis on her travels made them all the more enjoyable.
Lisa would recommend the exchange experience to other students. "I got to know a different way of life, meet new people and live in a new environment. New Zealand has been amazing," she says.