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

Almost Time for Finals

It’s weird transitioning from the block plan back to the semester system. At Colorado College, we take one class at a time, each lasting for 3.5 weeks. I’m still taking four classes here at Otago just like I would be at CC, but I’m not dealing with the intensity of the block plan and getting back into the habit of juggling multiple classes. I was honestly kind of sick of the block plan when I got here, because it’s especially hard for science majors. But now that I’m back on a regular schedule, it’s made me really appreciate how much you can learn in a single day at CC. I love it here- I have so much more time to relax and so much more advanced notice to write essays and things like that. Otago is much slower paced than CC, and I’m really enjoying it. We have a whole month for finals (which is pretty weird) but that’s just even more time to read for pleasure and to do brush up on some things we learned earlier on in the semester. Overall, adjusting to this educational landscape hasn’t been difficult because frankly it’s just not as demanding of me as my home institution is. It’s really made me think a lot about the pressure I put on myself, and I feel like I’m growing much more than I even thought I would.

On another topic, I am almost positive I am the only student studying abroad in New Zealand who hasn’t been to Europe. It’s interesting to listen to other students talk about other places they’ve traveled to, because they always just assume everyone is also well traveled. After all, we are living on the other side of the world. I’ve always considered myself to be mildly well traveled- I’ve been to Brazil and Australia (and now Fiji) but I’ve got nothing on most people here. Now that we’re coming to the end of the semester, a lot of people are making plans to spend a week or two in some other exotic location before they head home. This is crazy to me. This is the longest I’ve ever spent away from home (even though I go to school out of state- it’s just an 11 hour drive), and I know that I’ll be desperate to get to my family by the time it’s time to leave. I also am spending more money here than I ever have in my entire life. There is a 0% chance I would be able to even come close to being able to afford a week or two in Thailand or Cambodia like a lot of my friends are. I’ve spent the time my friends spend planning these trips trying to make sure my scholarships go through. They just ask their parents for money. Of course they’re my friends and I’m so happy that they have these opportunities, but we are just doing this whole study abroad thing so differently.

 

I’m just happy to be here.

 

Til next time

Paige

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