The Study Abroad Newsletter

Brandi's Experience Abroad

Brandi Uʻu
University of Waikato, New Zealand

People in a field holding up inner tubes

One of the most memorable events during my stay in New Zealand was the weekend away at the Marae that was hosted by Te Waiora. Te Waiora is the Maori Association Club on campus at the University of Waikato. Te Waiora creates a place where Maori students can come together to find academic and emotional support. Te Waiora also strives to perpetuate their Maori culture by practicing and performing Kapa Haka which is the traditional dance and song of Aotearoa. The weekend stay was an amazing cultural experience and also gave me a chance to learn about Maori culture and bond with other students.

A panoramic photo of a seminar rooom at University of Waikato

The second event I thought was most memorable in New Zealand was being able to go and visit the Waitomo Caves. I decided to go with another UH Hilo student, Makamae. It was such a magical experience to see these caves and also the famous glow worms that can't be found anywhere else in the world well, not the same genotype of worm at least. It was a tour to see the cave, but it was also a black water rafting tour where we actually got to sit in tubes and get all hands on. It was definitely worth spending money to go and see the beautiful natural gifts New Zealand holds.