Our guest speaker for the morning was the amiable Heike Papenthin, national adviser ILEP (International Languages Exchanges Pathway) based at Auckland University. Heike was a Rotary Foundation Scholar on the Ambassadorial Japan Programme from 1990 to 1992. She lived in Japan until 2005 where she met her husband. They had an opportunity to come to New Zealand and she is enjoying the country very much. She is also a member of Rotary Club of Mt Eden.
As her role of National Advisor, they offer language-specific support as well as advice on a range of aspects relating to language teaching and learning in New Zealand. They represent the languages ChineseFrenchGermanJapanese and Spanish. This does not limit to students but as well as those in the education field including teachers.
There has been a steady decline in the number of students studying 2nd or 3rd language. 80% of NZ students have never learnt to speak another language. In some schools, whilst it is compulsory for Intermediate students to learn another language, there have not been a follow through. This is partly due to shortage of language teachers. Heike stressed how fortunate that through Rotary International, she was able to learn Japanese and live in Japan.
Through tax payer funded, Germany have been able to offer free education for domestic and international students as it is considered a basic human rights.You may like to check this website http://www.daad.ac.nz/
Another initiative is the “Federal Volunteer Service” which is open to everyone of all ages, wanting to engage in the voluntary services in the social, environment, sporting  and cultural field. This is a great opportunity available to New Zealanders who wish to volunteer in Germany.
The site is www.bundesfreiwilligendienst.de.  If you log in in Google Chrome you will automatically be asked if you'd like the English Translation.
Alternatively, Google www.bundesfreiwilligendienst.de in other web browers and you will get the option to have the page translated (see below).
Do check out the website and you never know, you might be winging your way to Germany and visit our exchange student’s hometown of Wiebaden.