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Avoid the crowds in NZ!!

April 2016 - Two COLC students on a sailing trip at a remote beach on Great Mercury Island, NZ

April 2016 - Two COLC students on a sailing trip at a remote beach on Great Mercury Island, NZ

Are you looking at traveling to New Zealand and want to avoid the crowds?

Traditionally, New Zealand welcomes its highest number of visitors of every year in December, January, and February.

Most of these people will enjoy New Zealand's warm weather and holiday vibes, sharing full campgrounds, busy beaches, and big city accommodation price rises.

We would like to share some inside knowledge with everyone who is interested in visiting New Zealand and wants to avoid the crowds.

March and April are awesome months to travel in New Zealand. 

In March the weather is fine with summer breezes and warm days. It is common to have hot days in March, so protecting yourself from the sun is still important. New Zealand children are back in school and parents are back at work.

In April, New Zealand enjoys stunning colours as the leaves change colours on the trees. The mornings are cooler but the days are very beautiful. 

 

 

 

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Changes to Activities from 2017

River Swimming

Many students come to COLC because of our amazing activities programme. From 2017 the way we offer activities will change, in a way that will make activities accessible to more students.  The price for English plus Activities will reduce to the same price as our General Course.  Yes, it will cost no more to do activities that it will to do the General Course.  For this you will get 3 activities per week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. On Fridays and on Saturdays in the summer there will be extra activities available, that you can join if you want to.  You will pay for the extra activities you join, but you don't have to do anything that you don't want to do.  It will be cheaper, offer more choice, and fairer for everyone.

We are looking forward to bringing you this new Activities format and giving you a chance to get involved in what we do better than anyone else.

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A View From Kim's Seat

Surfing has been popular this year.

As my trip to Europe for this year’s IALC Workshop gets closer, there are a couple of things on my mind.  Firstly I am really looking forward to catching up with the large number of past students that I am going to see on this trip.  This is what the Big COLC Family is all about and it never ceases to amaze me that so many people are prepared to make the effort to get along to the reunions just to say hello.

When you get a room full of COLC people, most of whom don’t even know each other, it really is amazing to see the friendship created just by sharing stories about their time in Whitianga.

 

The other thing on my mind is to look back at what has been a very busy summer period.  We have been full or nearly full for 5 months, and that means a lot of work and a certain amount of stress for everyone.  I think there are a few people looking forward to a couple of quieter months.

Activities continue to be popular but we are seeing a change to our activities bookings.  More and more people are choosing the English plus 3 option and less seem to be booking full time activities.  Added to this is a big change in Health and Safety laws in New Zealand, and this is putting a lot of pressure on activities and the way we have offered them in the past.

 

So a big rethink is underway and you can expect a remodelled “Activities Package” to be in place for 2017.  We hope to reduce the price of the mainstream activities program that students can book, and then have an “add on” system for Fridays and Saturdays where students can join the more expensive activities if they want to.

 

Watch this space for more information as it comes to hand.

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Project Kiwi

As you might know, COLC is a sponsor of the local Project Kiwi Trust. In return for our donations and dedicated work with Project Kiwi, we are able to sponsor one chick a year through Project Nest Egg. This means an egg from our area is taken to Rotorua where the chick is hatched and raised until it is strong enough to defend itself. Then when the bird comes home, we can be involved with the release of those birds into the wild. 

About a year ago, we released our first Kiwi bird called Colcy, it was a great success and unique experience for us and the students which were involved in. Last Sunday we were able to release our second Kiwi bird named Zara. It was a real treat to see how Zara left her transport box and took off into the Whangapoua forest after several minutes of exploring her new surroundings. 

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Kiwi Cooking

These wonderful ladies from our activity course made us some afternoon tea. If you feel homesick and want to bake NZ scones in your country, follow the recipe below.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour (if self raising flour only add 1 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder)
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 50g or 2 ounces butter
  • 1 - 1/2 cups milk

Method:

  • sift dry ingredients together
  • rub butter into flour, so the mixture is crumbly
  • add milk and mix quickly and very little (mixture should be sticky and not too dry)
  • roll lightly on a floured surface about 15mm thick, cut into squares and place on a baking tray
  • bake in preheated oven 230° (450°F) for 10 - 15mins (makes approximately 16 scones)
  • after baking, cut scones in half, use fruit jam and cream as a topping

 

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A View From Kim’s Seat.

Outside classes are a fun way to learn

We are into the second week of 2016, and COLC is really buzzing.  In those two weeks we have welcomed 30 new students, so people are still settling in and getting to know each other.

We are running six classes at present and some of those classes are full.  With another 6 students starting next Monday we will be feeling the pressure in the middle of the school.  To solve this problem we are going to run an “Environment Course” for each of the next two weeks.

These are English classes that are run in various locations away from the school, and will cover a range of environmental topics.  We invite students from the top half of the school to join these classes, and the first 10 names on the list, get to do it.  There is no extra cost involved and it is a great opportunity to get out of the classroom.

Activities are also in full swing, and we know there’s a lot happening in that department when Bernice is in a flap every morning.  But as usual she pulls it all together and everyone always has a great afternoon.

The first “Surf Course” of the year is also underway. The course is full and this year it is being taught by Chris Robinson.  Those of you that know him will understand how much fun that is likely to be. Everyone is having a blast.

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Happy New Year

First day of school 2016

The Colc family is just about to start into an other awesome year, after two busy but wonderful weeks of Christmas holidays. We are ready to rock it with these lovely new students and of course all of the current students. 

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Welcome back Tina

You left COLC at the end of February 2015 to go overseas. Where did you go and what were your ambitions while you were away?

·      I went to China and to India. My ambitions were as ever, to see new places and experience a different kind of life.
 

While you were overseas, you must have had lots of new experiences. What is one thing that you learnt from these experiences?

·      I learned that it is perfectly possible to live without plastic bags. They are banned in India and I’ve been trying to live without them here since I got back.

 

Being away from home for such a long time, what did you miss most about New Zealand during your time overseas?

·      My Mice
 

We have two questions for you from our COLC students. What is your favourite object in nature?

·      That’s a hard one……..the universe.
 

And, How much chocolate do you eat every day?

·      Not enough

 

 

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Environment Project

This is Sarah.

This is Sarah.

A group of 20 students took part in this winters planting day earlier this week.  Another 400 plants grown in the COLC nursery were planted along the banks of the Pito-One stream.  This planting is part of an on going project designed to both beautify the area and also improve water clarity in the stream.

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Project Kiwi

This group of enthusiastic students has just finished helping set up a brand new "Trap Line" as part of COLC's involvement in Kiwi protection in our local environment.

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