Teachers

Roydon AgentKamo High School

 

 

Thanks to Defining Moments for arranging such an awesome trip. As teachers we were able to focus purely on the students travelling and didn’t have to worry as much about the paper work. Kristy liaised with the School and ensured everything was planned from accommodation to transport. It was great to have Defining Moments share their advice and expertise with us, without them we wouldn’t have to been able to get the trip up and running. The trip was a life changing experience for both students and teachers and catered to a variety of school courses;  Geography, History, Classics and Social Studies and of course Travel and Tourism. The sites we had the ability to visit were a definite highlight; the CuChi Tunnels, Halong Bay and the ancient wonder of Hue.  Kristy organised all our tickets, spoke to the group and was always prompt with answering any queries. Thanks to the team at Defining Moments that made this trip possible we will definitely be going again!

Chrissy Vivian, Westlake Girls High

Bronwyn RadcliffeSt Andrews College

 

 

Throughout the organisation of the trip Defining Moments were helpful, informative and easy to deal with. Kristy and Steve were always friendly and helped us throughout the whole process. They created an itinerary that catered to all of our needs, requests and budget. While overseas the guides and drivers were professional and provided us with great information. All of the airport and hotel pick-ups were on time and the facilities were good for school groups. The sites we visited were amazing and the students found the trip invaluable. Overall, our trip to Europe was an amazing experience. I would highly recommend Defining Moments to other schools! Their professional attitude was refreshing and the whole experience was made easier as a result.

Simone Bailey, Teacher in Charge of Classical Studies, Marlborough Boys’ College

Craig ThornhillChristchurch Girls High School

 

 

This was our second school trip to Vietnam through Defining Moments and once again we had a fantastic time! The students loved every moment and would have been happy to take the friendly and knowledgeable guides home with them at the end. The planning was smooth and the team at Defining Moments supported us at every point and answered every bizarre question we had. At every stop we were astounded by the knowledge and real life experiences the guides brought to the experience: from their families being part of the Viet Cong who lived in the tunnels, to their family fighting in the American War, they provided with such an in-depth account of Vietnamese history that we could not have asked for anything more. From a practical side, the buses were spacious and comfortable, the accommodation was great with brilliant swimming pools, there were always spaces for us to gather as a group, and the internal flights and the moving around complicated city systems was all easy thanks to the guides who dealt with everything.

Suzie Brace, Year 11 Dean, Wellington East Girls’ College

“In April, 24 students from St Margaret’s College, along with 3 staff began their adventures in Vietnam.  From a teachers perspective this was an amazing opportunity.  We experienced new food, new cultures, new ways of life and the history of the region came to life as we realised these places we had only read about in the text books were actually real and the impact of the war ongoing.   It was also incredible to see the students respond to this new environment and culture and grow in confidence over the duration of the trip.  Taking a group of students away can be very stressful and the team at Defining Moments were fantastic at helping to relieve a lot of that stress.  The trip was so well organised and it made it so easy to know that the accommodation for that night was going to be of a reasonable standard, that the coach would always be there waiting for you and that the sights you would see would be interesting and relevant.  They were so great at dealing with details that it meant the staff only had to think about the welfare of the students and also enjoy the experience for themselves.”

Nadine Allen, History Teacher, St Margaret’s College

“Participating in the Defining Moments ‘Black Civil Rights’ tour in July was a career highlight for me. Walking in the footsteps of history and visiting significant places was incredible but conversing with teachers in Selma, Alabama and having dinner with members of the Little Rock Nine made the whole experience that much more enriching and meaningful. I encourage all teachers keen to pursue their own and their school’s potential to make contact with Defining Moments and make it happen.”

Jenelle Hooson, Rangi Ruru Girls’ School

 “The opportunity to visit a place I teach about was one I seized with both hands. Previous travel experience provided me with impressions, anecdotes and resources that help enliven lessons and enhance the narrative of history.  Defining Moments was no different, except that I had the company of fellow history enthusiasts to enjoy and bounce ideas off. The trip was professionally organized and showed careful awareness of teacher-specific needs.  As well as being enjoyable, the trip provided the opportunity to see places and experience the culture first hand, and has enabled me to teach this topic better than previous years.  I have since returned with my students to Vietnam and they all have had experiences that I know will last a lifetime.”

Paul O’Connor, Burnside High School

 “A once in a life time PD opportunity!  Not to mention value for your money as well! The chance to visit key historical places that you teach about in your history programme is invaluable, as it not only enhances your knowledge of the material you work with but also enlivens the way you present this material to your students! Teaching is a career that often lacks opportunities where likeminded teachers can spend time discussing and sharing ideas about teaching in general, curriculum development, historical content and so much more in an informed and friendly way! This was ‘priceless’! I would encourage any teacher who is interested in broadening their own knowledge of a particular area or wanting to check out a possible trip to take up this opportunity offered by Defining Moments.”

Stephanie Ashton, Baradene College

The trip was highly successful for a range of reasons. It was extremely valuable to the students who had studied the Vietnamese-American War and also exposed the students to Asian history in general.  For those interested in human rights, ethics and humanitarian issues, there was much food for thought. The topography of Vietnam offers huge scope for Geography students. The cuisine of Vietnam is diverse, and we were given a wide range of stunning dishes to sample. For students who are studying Food and Nutrition, there is ample opportunity to explore this area. There are many examples of classically-influenced buildings for those who study Classical Studies and Art History. Vietnam is a dynamic developing nation, with a vibrant tourist industry, so visiting Vietnam offers much valuable material for those who are studying Travel and Tourism, or who are considering, for example, Political Science, Anthropology, Theology or Sociology at the tertiary level. Visiting, for example, the Mekong Delta gave us the opportunity to observe the use of local resources. Various topics that are dealt with in both the junior and senior Social Studies syllabus, such as colonisation and development, were encompassed.

The trip facilitated an unforgettable cultural experience and inter-change of ideas. Students learnt about the rich history of Vietnam and its cultural values. They were able to appreciate the value of learning another language as well as the importance of cultural identity. An over-night stay in a village on the Mekong facilitated an insight into a local community.

All of the above would not have been possible without the organisation of the New Zealand travel agency ‘Defining Moments’ and their Vietnamese affiliated agency. We are greatly indebted to Kristy Whitaker, our ‘Defining Moments’ agent, to our Vietnamese guides Thach Chaney, and to our drivers. Kristy set us up very well before we left and was always available for queries. Thach was a superb guide, and every minute of the trip was accounted for. He was informative, accommodating and very personable. Overall, we found the organisation in both New Zealand and Vietnam to be impressive.

Kay Brown, Westlake Girls High School

      Parents

“I wish to provide our strong support for the possible continuance of the recent overseas tour.

Firstly our compliments to the way the recent trip was organised and run and in particular for the  excellent communication while the trip was underway.

From our perspective as Parents the key outcomes from the trip have been:

  • An opportunity for the kids to experience a level of independence(far away from home) and to learn to cope in an overseas  travel environment .
  • The itinerary itself provided for real learning opportunities relative to their curriculum in the iconic heartland of the industry. It also created a great balance between entertainment  and learning and quite obviously kept the kids very engaged.
  • The general travel experience put the kids in an environment where they were pushed to extend their social skills and tolerances and we have seen already different social skills emerge in our 18 year old since the tour has completed.
  • The overall experience  has added to life experience and broadened outlooks and aspirations.

We once again thank the staff involved in arranging and managing the tour. It will be one of the experiences that our son carries positively with him through life and who knows, may be a  “defining moment” for him in his life and future career decisions.”

Students

The best two weeks and the greatest cultural experience you’ll ever have.

It is an experience of a lifetime. Unlike anything you’ve experienced before. Something i will never forgot.

It’s really worth it especially for being able to experience a different way of life that’s unlike what we’re used to in New Zealand.

This was a truly successful and positive trip, one that i will remember forever. Experiencing the French Culture, Language and History as well as the great people made this trip totally unforgettable.

Our Defining Moments school trip was the most fantastic experience, from the people we met, to the histories we learnt about, and the culture we tried to understand.

Amazing trip! So worth it. You learn so much not only in the subjects but in terms of travelling, self-management and testing your limits.

Most amazing trip i have ever been on. A one and a life time opportunity. So grateful i went. Definitely go!