Why New Zealand?
Going abroad this spring was fairly spontaneous of me. I was planning on shipping myself overseas with the rest of the Wake Forest junior student body during the fall of 2014, but for me, all academic signs pointed to seeking international adventure a little earlier in my college career. So I had to make the decision rather quickly. For me, Europe has always been out of the question. While I can’t wait to someday float down the canals in Venice and try out the pub scene in Ireland, I knew that travelling across Europe just wasn’t what I wanted for my abroad experience. I was determined to find a place where I really, truly wanted to live for five months. I didn’t want to feel like I have to pack a little bag every weekend in search of a new adventure. I wanted to find adventure in the same country I started in.
I plan on exploring as much of New Zealand as my six-month visa allows. I also wouldn’t mind trying to get over to Australia, and I definitely intend on making a pit-stop in Fiji (I’d be crazy if I didn’t!) However, my main intention is to explore and discover the coolest little capital in the world: Wellington.
I chose Wellington after my sister came back from her New Zealand experience. She recommended this coastal, capital city, located at the southern-tip of New Zealand’s north island. Originally, I was torn between studying in Stellenbosch, South Africa and Wellington for quite some time. But eventually I came to the conclusion that New Zealand was the place for me. I already had a stamp in my passport from South Africa, why not try someplace new?
1. FREE STUDENT VISA (FOR AMERICANS)
2. IT’S SAFE
3. NO SNAKES (AND OTHER POISONOUS CREEPY-CRAWLIES)
Unfortunately, New Zealand is home to a disgusting-looking bug known as the weta. I would attach a link but I seriously don’t think you want to see what they look like. Considering I cried the first time I ever saw a cockroach (no exaggeration, just ask my roommates), I can’t even imagine what would happen if I encountered one of these mouse-sized bugs.
4. IT’S FRIENDLY
5. “A SMALL COUNTRY WITH REALLY BIG PERSONALITY”
I’m not 100% sure what this quote means yet, but when I heard it on this video, I really liked it. One thing that has enticed me to go to New Zealand is that I don’t actually know a lot about it. I’m excited to see what this beautiful island nation has to offer me.
Well, my flight departs from LAX in 3DAYS! I seriously don’t know how that happened. I have watched the days tick down on my phone’s countdown app, but I never thought the day would actually come. I could not be more excited, but I’d also be lying if I said I wasn’t at least a little bit Wake-sick and homesick already. I guess I should just be grateful that I have so many wonderful things to say goodbye to here in the U.S. However, something tells me I have some pretty great things waiting for me in New Zealand as well!