5 Things I've Discovered in My First Month

Lexie Heilbron University of Auckland, New Zealand


April 3, 2019
Currently studying at: University of Auckland, New Zealand
Homeschool: Arcadia University

I have been having the best time in New Zealand so far, but I have come to realize that I have been in this country for an entire month! A month of my life has been spent in this country that I would now like to call home for the rest of my life (if only I could afford it). Though it has been a full month, I have learned a bunch of things about New Zealand, travel, and cultures as a whole. Though everyone may have not had the same dream as me in studying in New Zealand, there are a lot of tips that will help out anyone studying abroad!

1. Cook Your Own Food

While living and eating the foods of another country may sound exciting, it is expensive. As much as I would love to go to BBQ Duck Café, Tank, and Lord of the Fries all the time, it is not the smartest step financially that I should take. You're always going to be tempted to eat out every now and then, and I say go for it but remember to be smart when doing so.

Side Tip: Grocery shopping in New Zealand is a little pricier than the states, and it doesn’t hurt to not buy the brand name foods since the food here is normally healthier and tastes just the same!

2. Travel In Big Groups

From most of my friends, and myself, who have studied abroad, traveling around the country, or surrounding countries is a huge interest of many people. While traveling alone, and being independent sounds fun, and like an adventure, going with a group of friends you know can help greatly. One reason I suggest this, is because some things are cheaper when bought in bulk, which helps to save money for other fun activities. Another reason is to have someone you know and trust to be there. You don’t have to be with them every second of every day, but to have a friendly face there is always a good thing to have.

3. Spend Some Alone Time

Though this may sound like an opposing point from my last tip, having alone time is very important still! Whether it be because you have work to do, don’t want to spend money, or would rather just have a day to yourself, that is okay! Everyone needs that time to themselves to think about what is best for them! Especially since you are in a new country that you are not as familiar with, things can become stressful and you need a second to yourself– that is okay! Just because you are in another country, mental health is still very important! Go out and watch a sunset, or even just enjoy nature, your mental health is very important!

4. Branch Out

From what I have seen, a lot of people come to a country knowing a few people they are with. While this is fun and everything, don’t be afraid to branch out to other people as well. Spending all your time with the same few people can become socially draining, and you are more likely to lose your temper. So, branch out, meet new people, maybe even go on a date. Who knows! But either way, it is always exciting to meet new people and get an everlasting friend.

5. Have A Great Time!

Whichever country you may be in, have fun! Do what you want, while still being reasonable. This is a once in a lifetime experience, so take advantage of everything you can and let yourself have fun!