Published On: Wed, Dec 12th, 2007

Heithold will head to New Zealand

HARTINGTON — In 2008 Sam Heithold will be getting his wish.
Heithold was looking for a challenge and wanted to try something a little different.
“I wanted a change of scenery,” said Heithold who is a junior at Cedar Catholic High School.
He will definitely see some different scenery as he will be traveling over 8,000 miles from his home in Hartington for a new view on life.

He will be spending five months in New Zealand as an exchange student.
Heithold leaves Feb. 2 and won’t be back in Nebraska until next July.
Heithold said he wanted to go to New Zealand, which is a country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean.
His grandparents, Gerald and Joan Hochstein, had visited New Zealand and told him all about it.
“My grandparents had been to New Zealand and Australia on an Ag tour and my cousin had gone there for schooling,” said Heithold.
When Heithold voiced his desire to be an exchange student in New Zealand his mother, Deb, went on-line and found the Center for Cultural Interchange, which is a program for high school abroad and is based out of Chicago.
It was too late for a scholarship when Heithold made his application.
“Sam paid for the airline ticket himself,” said Deb.
Heithold will fly into Auckland International Airport in February and start the second semester of classes at Papakura High School, which is located in a suburb of Auckland.
Papakura is an up-to-date co-educational high school that has a career information center, modern library with multi-media computers, sports pavilion, international student center and a health center with canteen.
The outdoor education complex provides the students with the opportunities of tramping, canoeing and studying bushcraft and learning about the New Zealand natural heritage.
Heithold, who is a history buff, isn’t sure yet what extra activities he will be involved in while attending school in New Zealand.
At Cedar Catholic Heithold has been enrolled in a college level class in American History through Northeast Community College and has been involved in the one-acts, swing choir, chorus, band and some sports.

“I won’t be here for speech the second semester or I would be out for that and I was planning on going out for golf,” he said.
Heithold also works part-time at Food Town in Hartington.
Even though Heithold will be spending part of the school year abroad he will still be on schedule to graduate from Cedar Catholic in May of 2009.
All of the credits from the classes Heithold takes in New Zealand will transfer to Cedar Catholic.
“The only extra thing I will have to do is a religion class,” said Heithold. “I will take it on-line with Fr. Pietramale while I am in New Zealand.”
The host family that Heithold will be living with has opened their home to exchange students in the past.
“They have been a host family for 22 years — that is awesome,” said Deb Heithold.
During the time Heithold will be in New Zealand there will be two other students living with the host family.
“There will be a girl from Ohio and a boy from Thailand,” said Heithold.
Heithold is excited about having the opportunity to live in another country. He has already been on-line and found information on New Zealand.
He said the people in New Zealand are family orientated and so a lot of recreation.
“The entire county is mostly middle class people,” said Heithold. “There are not a lot of real rich people or poor people.”
“I want to see the world from a different prospective,” said Heithold. “I want to see how America is different from the rest of the world.”
Heithold said his friends at Cedar Catholic were surprised when he told them he would be living in New Zealand.
“They didn’t believe me at first,” said Heithold. “They questioned why I was doing it.”

Deb said she is proud that her son wants to see another part of the world.
“It’s great,” said Deb. “My oldest son, Marcus went to Spain for ten days and my daughter Hillary spent two months in California this summer with relatives. I am glad my kids want to do this.”
Heithold will not have a lot of communication with his friends or family during his stay in New Zealand.
Phone calls are limited to once a month or one every two weeks; it is recommended e-mails be once a week.
Heithold will be leaving his cell phone home when he leaves for New Zealand.
It wouldn’t work there anyway he said.