Meet Student Ambassador: Jaluka Clarke

We spoke to Jaluka Clarke, one of our long serving kiwi student ambassadors from Springbank School in Kerikeri.

Jaluka has also completed the AFS Global Competence Certificate Program. He is pictured above left with fellow student Jack, at our Indian themed graduation dinner.

What do you love about Northland? 

Northland’s environment is nothing short of breathtaking.  During the summer holidays one of the best things I love to do is go sailing in the Bay of Islands for a few nights, just to get away from everything and have a few nights with no stress relaxing.  There are hundreds of beaches and coves to explore along the coast, thousands of fabulous walking tracks to enjoy, and everywhere you go there are amazing people to meet and lend a hand.

What do you love most about studying at school in New Zealand? 

Studying in New Zealand is awesome and has allowed me to meet a ton of amazing people who will remain friends for life.  I’m lucky enough to have a small class of only fourteen people including one who studies online from Japan.  While I may be a domestic student, it clear to see how welcoming and supportive everyone is to each other.

Tell us a bit about your family

My parents love to travel, and as a result we go on holiday almost every year, whether it’s to see family in Jersey, or just to enjoy the Greek summer sunshine, they always find a way to escape.  Lately because of Covid we haven’t been able to leave the country, so instead we decided to travel around New Zealand and discover what a truly amazing country we live in. 

My favourite thing about the journey was discovering all of the amazing natural wonders New Zealand has to offer. Even though I was supposed to be studying, I couldn’t help but gaze out in wonder as we drove our campervan over the Southern Alps and into the West Coast’s jungle.  Today I live in Kerikeri with my two parents, younger sister, and a cat named Puss who loves to make everyone else’s lives a pain yet still manages to make us like him.

What are your interests, sports and hobbies?

 For sports I tend to jump around and try out pretty much any sport I can get my hands on, whether that’s football, hockey, sailing, or something else entirely.  Lately I’ve been playing a lot of volleyball at school lunchtimes and at after school clubs.  When the last lockdown came around however I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to get out as much and play sports, thankfully however my parents managed to get me out of my room to go biking and play badminton in the afternoons, a tradition which continues to this day.

What is your favourite local place to hang out with friends? 

Whenever I have mates over, one of the best things I love to do is wake them up early before grabbing bikes and heading down to the Waitangi Mountain Bike Park.  The park is an awesome place to go with huge hills and adrenaline pumping downhill tracks – the perfect way to annoy your mates in the morning.

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