When choosing a location to study abroad I knew I wanted to go somewhere exotic and had never been before. It had been my dream to travel to London, with a trip to New Zealand in a close second, until I was surprised with a trip to England this past Christmas. This meant only one thing: New Zealand was now number one on my list. I’ve always wanted to go south of the equator and my friends who have been to New Zealand say it’s a beautiful country. Another reason I also chose New Zealand is because I speak the native language. This was important to me in making my decision because I didn’t want a language barrier to keep me from learning more about the people and their life styles. While I am abroad I plan on seeking out ways to travel to Fiji and Australia too, as these places are also highly ranked on my bucket list! Regardless, I know I will have many opportunites to find adventure and learn so much about the New Zealand culture.
I specifically chose Victoria University of Wellington to study because I love everything I have learned about Wellington thus far. I grew up in a very small town in Eastern Washington, four hours away from my state’s capitol, so the thought of living in a nation’s capitol for an entire semester is so exciting to me. I think this lifestyle will definitely be an adjustment that will take some getting used to, but I can’t think of a better way to become culturally diverse and gain new experience than immersing myself right into the middle of something I have never done before. I believe in challenging yourself daily and stretching yourself outside your comfort zone because that is where growth occurs. Studying abroad for me, is reaching beyond where I feel comfortable and allowing myself to learn from those around me in an environment where I normally wouldn’t put myself.
Because of that, one of my main expectations while I’m abroad is to grow. I want to grow as an individual and grow as a global citizen. I expect to learn about the people who are around me and invest in gaining knowledge about their culture and country’s history. I want to live life like a native New Zealander. By dedicating myself to adapting to the nation’s way of life, I hope to become a more well rounded individual that not only knows about different cultures, but knows more about herself. This will help me discover my full potential and find my place in a world full of diversity. My ambition is to host my own traveling cooking show where I appear in a different country each episode and learn how to cook different ethnic foods while I learn about different cultures. A semester in New Zealand will be a great starting point for me to light the fire and get inspired about my future goals.