International Student Farewell Speech

By Tobias Gruber | Posted: Tuesday June 28, 2016

First of all, I would like to thank Mr Hall for the opportunity to speak today. For those of you who dont know me, my name is Tobias and I am an international student.

I came here last July, 19000 kilometres from home, 19000 kilometres away from my family, my friends and basically my old life. I am very grateful and lucky to have had this opportunity to go abroad for a whole year. Every opportunity brings risks; my risk was not knowing anybody in New Zealand at all.

 Coming here I wanted to play golf every day and reduce my handicap to single figures, but instead my focus shifted and I followed other opportunities like rowing and sailing. These sports I can’t do at home as I live 8 hours away from the sea and 2 hours from the next big lake. Today I want to thank those who added value to my exchange experience, especially the rowing crew of the Under 17 eight who competed at Maadi Cup. 

I will leave you with a quote from Maxwell Maltz, an American cosmetic surgeon and author. He said "Often the difference between a successful man and a failure is not one´s better abilities or ideas, but the courage that one has to bet on his idea, to take a calculated risk, and to act." I like to think this is the path I followed during my year at Otago Boys' High School, saying `yes´ to every opportunity that popped up. 

As well, I want to encourage you to say `yes´ more often and to appreciate opportunities given to you. For those of you who will be lucky enough to take part in an exchange or going to a different country, I highly recommend doing it, you will not only learn about a different land, culture and people, but mostly about yourself.

Image Gallery