My time studying abroad in New Zealand is coming to a close, but the real adventure is just beginning. Next week four friends and I will set off on a month long journey by car from Auckland to the South Island and back up again. We’ll be living off the grid, car camping, tramping, and exploring some of the most beautiful places on earth. It will be a vacation, but we will be living sparsely: cooking dinner each night, staying most nights in tents, and enjoying the low-cost outdoors instead of pricey tourist activities. It will be a well-needed break after being in school for over a year without more than a couple weeks off. Despite the excitement, I am a bit nervous to leave Auckland. I feel like I have established a routine here. I really enjoy the style of teaching I encountered at a large university (especially the lecture recordings); it will be strange going home to a school of only 5000 students.
Arcadia has been an amazing experience for me—Jane, Kate, and Georgia did their absolute best to make us feel welcome in New Zealand and I think all of us greatly appreciated their commitment. Some of my favorite memories are orientation, cooking pavlova at Kate’s house, and going to the All Blacks vs Wallabies game. I can’t say enough good things about New Zealand and about my study abroad experience in general.
In the past 6 months, I’ve learned that I really do love computer science, I am passionate about teaching and helping others, and I have the commitment to stick to a regular workout schedule. I’ve learned that I function well when living on my own, and I appreciate having a small group of close friends. I hope to be able to write one or two more blog posts with lots of pictures from the south island. In lieu of that, check out some pictures my friends and I hiking Mt Doom. This was definitely one of the most challenging experiences I have faced. We walked just over 20 Kilometers, climbed a 1000m mountain, and trekked for 10 hours in a single day. As with anything challenging, it was absolutely worth it. Time to study hard and get right back out into the NZ wild ;)
Thank you Arcadia for providing me with this incredible opportunity to explore New Zealand!