Studying in New Zealand gave me the unique opportunity to experience the country’s culture firsthand. In the classroom, I was able to enhance my understanding of the local culture through taking courses on the Maori language and Pacific music and dance. Equally influential on my understanding of the New Zealand lifestyle were my experiences outside the university. Every day was filled with lessons in such aspects of New Zealand culture as watching Kiwi movies, eating pavlova (New Zealand’s national dessert), and going to an Auckland Blues vs. Wellington Hurricanes match. Further, by talking to my fellow students about their native country, I was able to gain an insider’s perspective on everything from New Zealand’s political and educational systems to popular movies, music, and books.
Without a doubt, choosing to study abroad in New Zealand was one of the best decisions I have made at Franklin and Marshall. My experiences abroad have taught me so much about myself and the world around me, and I have emerged from this experience braver, more confident, and more worldly than I ever could have imagined. I encourage any student who has even briefly considered study abroad as an option to give it a chance. It’s not every day that a person gets the chance to become fully immersed in a culture completely separate from their own. So go out and explore the world! You may learn more about yourself than you ever thought possible.
Debbie is now enrolled at the University of Arizona in the Department of Astrophysics.