By Mick Jensen
Ashburton College student Diana Barbu has been awarded a scholarship that will take her to Germany for a three-month immersion experience from December.
The scholarship from the New Zealand Institute of International Understanding was given after an initial application process, followed by a four-hour Skype interview.
Diana won through with her enthusiasm and communication skills and has been rewarded with a scholarship valued at $4000, which will cover two thirds of the costs associated with the stay.
Language proficiency was not a requirement of the scholarship application, but the 16-year-old’s preferred choice of Germany was on a country list that also included Brazil, Argentina, USA and Canada.
“I chose Germany because I’m studying the language at Ashburton College and thought that I could get the most out of the exchange experience there,” Diana said.
She was part of the Ashburton College educational tour that visited Germany in mid September.
“I really enjoyed that experience and ‘ll be less nervous going over in December because of it. I also know my ability with the German language to some extent.”
Diana will immerse herself in German culture and will be home-stayed with a host family in a small town near Cologne.
She has already made a video about herself in German and sent it to her host family.
The German experience will include exciting Christmas and New Year celebrations in Germany and also a four day trip to Amsterdam, booked through the partner exchange group.
Diana Barbu moved with her family to New Zealand from Romania when she was six and half and is a top performing student.