“We must go beyond textbooks, go out into the bypaths and untrodden depths of the wilderness and travel and explore and tell the world the glories of our journey.”

John Hope Franklin

Wednesday, 26 December 2012


If The Pilgrims first found Newfoundland in the United States, we the Future Leaders from MARA Junior Science Colleges too discovered New Zealand with our own two eyes. Aside from mass public assumptions which stated that we will be enjoying blindly during our trip, in fact we were there on a mission. Other than undergoing leadership training, we were there studying in the Auckland Institute of Studies(AIS) and were given homework. There were definitely no sighs of complaint and we obliged willingly. The homework was mainly focused on English Language in Communication (ELC). We were designated into different classes according to the AIS grammar assessment test. Here we had the chance to interact with people with diverse backgrounds from different corners of the globe.
              We arrived in New Zealand in the afternoon. We had our first dose of fresh air after 6 hours of flight from Malaysia to Melbourne with stopover of 6 hours at Melbourne airport transit lounge and another 4 hours flight from Melbourne to Auckland. The owner of the Mesra Homestay, Encik Aziz was there waiting for us together with Ustaz Mohamed Kalam bin Alam, our tour guide there.
He is jovial and friendly. We went directly to our homestay at No 2, Nacton lane, Auckland New Zealand. A suburbia house that looked very simple but cosy. After lunch, we went for a short tour downtown.
On the second day, we started our morning with subuh prayers around 5.00 am (0000hrs. M’sia. time). It was freezing cold, but we liked it a lot! It was a cold summer morning. After breakfast, we left for AIS St Helens and arrived at 9 am. For four days straight we were part of the international student community here in AIS. That afternoon, we went to Winter Garden Glasshouse and took a lot of photos of unique species of plants. In the winter garden, there were four glass houses according to the four seasons there. Each and every one of them was unique in their own exotic way.
On the third day, we started class at 9.00 am as usual. We played our roles in class by rotating seats with other international students to get to know them better. We conversed in English. Then in the evening after performing Jamak and Qasar Zohor and Asar prayers, we went to Rose Garden. The flowers there were very beautiful and colourful too. Red, blue, yellow, indigo, violet and etc. Next, we head to Michael Joseph Park. The scenery there was fantastic. We also had a chance to visit Mission Bay, which was one of the attractions in New Zealand. The boys also had the chance to play rugby with the locals.
            On the fourth day, we travelled to the Cornwell Park. We went to the Auckland Museum and War Memorial. It was an amazing museum! We were able to learn about the history of New Zealand. After that, we proceed to the One Tree Hilltop. It was a good vantage point. We were able to see a majestic view from the summit of the hill. We were able to see Auckland 360 degrees.
On the fifth day, we went to the Devonport after we had finished our lessons. We took a              train to Devonport. The train ride was approximately 20 minutes to Britomart Station. Next, at Devonport Harbour we took a ferry to North Hill. It was great experience!
            On the sixth day, we went to the Auckland International College. We were informed about the fortes of the college. AIC is one of the best colleges in New Zealand. After that, we went to the University of Auckland. The university consist of multiple faculties such as engineering, science, business and art.
            On the last day of our trip, we enjoyed the Agrodome Sheep Farm at Rotorua. We watched sheep being sheared live. Then, we went to the Mouri Cultural Show. It was great traditional portrayal. After that, we saw the geysers. It was a memorable experience! We took a few minutes for tea at the Rotorua Lake.
           At 12.00 a.m., 16.12.12 was the last day of our journey in the land down under. We spend the night together finishing our tasks. We recorded a video to be shared with our juniors, the Future Global Leaders 2013.
2012 has been a red letter year where the 20 of us from diverse backgrounds strengthened our bonds to achieve a common goal. May our friendship here last forever. Appreciations to Majlis Amanah Rakyat(MARA) and Yayasan Mahasiswa for making this trip a memorable on

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