As I sit in my favorite coffee shop reflecting on my time in New Zealand, I have so many thoughts racing through my mind. The first is familiarity, the fact that I have found my new favorite coffee shop. I have become so adjusted to life in New Zealand, that returning to America will feel like a new abroad experience in itself. I can say that New Zealand welcomed me with open arms.
I was very worried about my transition to New Zealand since I had such a distinct and comfortable routine at my home university. The people and lifestyle in New Zealand are so inviting that I didn’t have any time or need to worry about the adjustment. All of the students and locals here were so friendly and informative about their country. The New Zealand culture as a whole is so relaxed, which made the transition much easier. After becoming familiar with the way of life in New Zealand, it eventually started to feel like home. A home filled with beauty, adventure, and the most amazing people I have ever met.
When asked the question, “Are you sad to go back home?” there are so many ways I could answer. Of course the answer is yes, but then you ask yourself why? Why are you sad about going home? It’s hard to explain to someone how incredible five months can be. If I had to sum everything up it is the people that made this adventure so life-changing.
The country of New Zealand is truly one of a kind. It is such a small piece of land with so much to offer. One of my previous blogs described a trip I took and how it’s not about what you’re doing but whom you are doing it with. I still believe this to be true, but since that blog, I have felt the impact that my abroad friends have made.
The people I have met here have not only made every single day and trip incredible, but I can say that they have changed the way I look at life and the way I feel about myself. I have met some of the most supportive, intelligent, and outgoing people here. People who have pushed me to step out of my comfort zone, believe in myself, and give me such a different outlook on life. The combination of the amazing country I lived in this past semester and the people in this country. The combination of the amazing country and people contribute to me answering “yes,” when people ask if I’m sad to go back home.
If anyone is hesitant or even considering studying abroad at the University of Otago, I would tell them it would be their biggest regret to not take advantage of this opportunity. I am so incredibly jealous of anyone who is currently signed up for this adventure. New Zealand has given me breathtaking views, experiences, and people I could have ever asked for. As upsetting as it is to leave this country, I wouldn’t want to leave any other way.