Student Views on Global Experience
Study Abroad at the University of South Wales in Sydney, Australia
I’ll just say it right away, studying abroad was the greatest travel experience I have ever had (which is saying quite a bit as I have traveled and lived in numerous other countries). I went in with pretty high expectations and they were easily beaten, although surprisingly not due to all the experiences I had, but the people. I never expected to find such good friends on this trip and that was truly the best part of the whole experience. That is not to say I didn’t have a good time otherwise. Outside of the classes (four hours a day at times I might add), I saw Australia in all different ways. From talking to indigenous Australian people to surfing to nightlife and festivals, to the beautiful landscape, and not to mention great food, I was not lacking in activities to take up my time. This trip has reignited my passion to travel and see the world and also shown me that being open to new experiences and people can create the most amazing experiences of your life. Overall, I can’t imagine seeing the country in a different way than I did and it is a summer I will never forget.
Study Abroad in New Zealand
I studied abroad at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand in Spring 2015. The opportunity to live in a new country allowed me to understand the way of life in New Zealand compared to that of the U.S. The people of New Zealand live a very relaxed, rural, and slow-paced life whereas Americans are constantly busy. In addition, the indigenous Māori people of New Zealand have a very prevalent culture, performing dances nationally, creating extraordinary art and cooking the traditional Hangi meal (mix of meat, vegetables, and pudding) using wood and volcanic rocks. I enrolled in a Sustainable Energy Systems course, allowing me to gain an understanding of New Zealand’s stance on renewable energies in comparison with the U.S. and Denmark. For my Ecology course, I took a field trip to Cass Mountains for four days where I hiked to survey plants and trees (pictured) and performed experiments with insects and lizards. I took a week trip with a friend from the South Island to the North Island. We traveled to Kaikoura with beautiful waters and seals (pictured), and then we took the inter-islander ferry from the South Island to the North Island, docking at the capital city of Wellington. Following our stay in Wellington, we traveled to Taupo, with a beautiful lake which we skydived over at sunset. The next day we went to Rotorua, the city where we went to the geothermal hot springs and went white water rafting. Our trip ended with a tour of Auckland, the largest city of New Zealand. Studying abroad can be an awesome opportunity. I encourage other students to consider how to include a global experience into their academic career.