Tuesday, July 21, 2015

My arrival to New Zealand

I honestly never thought that I would be coming to New Zealand for my study abroad experience! However, I'm so glad I made this decision! These past few weeks in New Zealand have been pretty amazing so far. First off, let me start with the plane ride here. I took a plane from Chicago to Hawaii, which then went straight to Auckland. The flight to Auckland was incredible! Air New Zealand truly treated all of the passengers like royalty, from the free unlimited movie and music access to the free meals and the blankets and pillows, they sure know how to make their guests feel welcome! I was even able to watch Pitch Perfect for the first time, and I was really entertained and impressed! Since this experience was my first time out of the country, I wasn't really sure what to expect. However, I've made so many new international friends. I have a huge passion for learning about new cultures, so I really took this experience as an opportunity to learn about all of these different countries by socializing with my new friends. We've had talks about the differences in food and lifestyles. All of these memorable conversations will always stay close to my heart.

One of my favorite moments so far is having the chance to do some sightseeing while here! I was able to go on a group tour to explore the Manawatu Gorge and see the Te Apiti Wind farm. This whole experience was amazing! I honestly felt like I was in the jungle where King Kong lives! I took so many pictures, but the pictures truly don't do it justice. It was very windy, cold, and rainy, but it was so worth the experience! I would rather take part in this experience in cold weather than not at all. Just having my new friends with me to explore made the whole exploration very worth it. We even went to a nearby restaurant, where I had purchased a Kiwi Burger, which I was told consisted of sheep meat. Also, I went on a group trip to the local farmer's market, and I happened to run into a Smorgasbord Self-Service, which comes from a Swedish descent. I had no idea what this was at first, but then I got really excited when I found out that you payed $6 and could fill up your plate with as much food as you could fit on the plate! I thought it was a great deal! I filled up my plate with a ton of noodles, pot stickers, rice, and fish and chips! The food was incredible and definitely worth going back for! Check out some pictures down below!

          1. Manawatu Gorge

2. Smorgasbord Self-Service and my plate filled with noodles, rice, pot stickers, and fish and chips!

             3. Te Apiti Windfarm

This whole experience is all about opportunity, adventure, and most importantly, learning. I'm currently enrolled in a poetry class, an organizational communications class, a language and identity class, and I'm even taking part in a Communications internship at The School of Communication, Journalism, and Marketing! My experience with this internship has been really amazing so far. I'm currently working to help promote more student exchange and study abroad opportunities with the international office at Massey University. I truly enjoy this internship because it's a job that I could potentially see myself doing in the future. I really want to make students' dreams of studying abroad come true. I want them to know that studying abroad or taking part in a student exchange is truly beneficial for professional purposes and for self-growth. I can't wait for these next few months! This is only the beginning!

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