Orientation week is over and I can officially say I have made 33 new friends in just a few days. I don't think I have ever been as tired as I was when arriving at the Auckland airport to meet my fellow study abroad students, but the Arcadia staff made me feel so welcomed. After gathering all of our suitcases, we loaded up two huge buses to the Kiwi International Hotel where all of the Arcadia students exchanged formal introductions and got to know one another.
The next day, we traveled by bus to the town of Rotorua, New Zealand. Rotorua is a geothermal hot spot, meaning that there are many sites where sulfuric gas rises out of the ground and into the air. As a group, we explored these natural hot spots by doing a tour through Wiaotapu Geothermal Wonderland. The sites were like nothing I had ever seen before, but lets just say the smell was even more memorable. Copious amounts of sulfuric gas wafted through the entire park, creating a distinct smell and large clouds of smoke.
We took part in other events like zorbing, witnessing sheep getting shaved, meeting baby lambs, and witnessing the Maori culture and traditions throughout the entirety of our orientation. But arriving in Wellington which will be my home for the next trimester, was definitely my favorite part. Wellington has everything from beaches, to mountains, to city life all within a walking distance, and I cannot wait to explore every inch of it during my time here!