Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

Cute sheep and ugly trolls: an average weekend in New Zealand

I have a little over 50 days left in New Zealand, and it’s starting to feel like the beginning of the end. While everyone at home is finishing exams, starting summer, and even graduating (congrats to my favorite sister on Monday!!), I still have quite a bit to do in regards to my academics. One of the biggest differences I’ve noticed between university in New Zealand and Wake is that here 60-70% of my grades will be determined by my final exams.

So while I haven’t been too stressed this semester, I foresee the week of June 24th-28th to be a very hectic one. The exam period here goes from June 9th to June 30th, and somehow all of my exams got lumped into the same week at the end. Luckily this is what I’m used to back at home, but it won’t be fun. Since the south island trip I have been studying! Yes, actually studying. It’s revolutionary. And I think it paid off since I took an accounting exam and didn’t want to cry after. Success! Also, last weekend my study abroad program organized a fun day trip around Wellington for the seven of us students. First we took a ferry to Somes Island for our “Volunteer Event.” Somes Island is an eco sanctuary in the middle of the Wellington Harbor, and it is home to penguins, a vast variety of rare birds, and the giant Weta– a disgusting and huge version of a cockroach that I was really hoping to avoid while in New Zealand. Sadly, we found one. It’s pictured below but avert your eyes if you are anything like me and hate bugs.

Aside from the Weta encounter, the island was great! We spent the morning enjoying the area, trimming some hedges, doing some weeding, and we even got to hang out with the sheep!

Did you know the current sheep to human ratio in New Zealand is 7:1? They aren’t kidding when they say there are more sheep than people! After our morning on the island we drove out to the Wellington sign! The sign, modeled after the Hollywood sign, is located at the Miramar Peninsula which is home to Peter Jackson’s production studios. Which is where we went next! We weren’t allowed to take photos on the tour of the workshop, but we enjoyed the giant trolls outside. I am ashamed to admit I’ve only seen the first and second Lord of the Rings movies and I haven’t seen either Hobbit movies, so I definitely couldn’t fully appreciate the experience. But you know what I could appreciate? Seeing the grocery store where Orlando Bloom bought his groceries whenever he was in town. I basically died. See, this is the problem with me.

It was a really fun day, complete with the beautiful outdoors, sheep, weird bugs, Peter Jackson, trolls, and Hobbits. What else would you expect from a Saturday in New Zealand?


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