Columba College year 12 pupils Modi Deng (left) and Ella Barclay look forward to being immersed in German life after winning German language scholarships. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
For the first time in Columba College's history, two of its
pupils have been awarded prestigious German language
scholarships in the same year.
Modi Deng (16) has won the Padagogischer Austauschdienst
scholarship and Ella Barclay (17) has won the New
Zealand-German Student Exchange scholarship - both awarded by
the Goethe Institute, the German National Adviser.
Modi will spend four weeks in Germany in July next year, on
an all-expenses-paid trip to several German cities where she
will attend school and get to know the communities she is
Ella will spend between two and three months living and
studying in Germany, starting later this month. She too will
be immersed in the German language and culture, staying with
German families and studying at German schools.
It's not the first time Modi and Ella have won awards in
languages this year.
In June, Modi won the year 12 section of the Young Authors'
International French essay competition, and Ella was
runner-up in the world language perfect championships.
Modi was born in China and came to New Zealand when she was
aged 2. As well as playing the piano, she has a passion for
languages, particularly French and German.
She was excited to have won the award, not only because she
had not been to Germany before, but because it would give the
young pianist an opportunity to experience the culture of a
nation which has contributed so much to the world's music
''It will be great to be immersed in the environment, the
culture and the language.
''You do your best learning when you have no choice but to
speak the language.
''The bonus of learning German is that a lot of the words and
culture are closely associated with music.''
Ella was also delighted with her scholarship, and the
opportunity to be able to experience all she had read about
She is also relishing the opportunity to represent New
Zealand during her trip.
''It will be great to show Germans where New Zealand is on
the map and what we have to offer.
''I could be an ambassador for our country,'' she said.