University of Waikato, New Zealand
Aloha mai kākou e ka lehulehu, greetings and Kia Ora rā, my name is Makamae Nāone and I am a double major in Anthropology and Hawaiian studies at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. As a sophomore in High School, I remember reading a book on one of my most favorite places in the world, New Zealand, and telling my best friend that one day, I would go and study at a university in NZ. As one of my teachers overheard our conversation, he mentioned a program he knew quite a lot about called Study Abroad and suggested that I look into it. Excited as I was that there was a program to help me pursue my dream, I got right to it. In my first semester in college at UH Hilo, I went straight to the Center of Global Exchange office and inquired about my goal and after all the paper work and determination, I got accepted and was on my way to Hamilton, NZ to study at Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato, University of Waikato.
Studying Abroad has helped me pursue my dream and got me over to Aotearoa where I spent the best 13 months of my life!
I cannot even begin to explain how much fun I had on my trip, it was simply an unforgettable experience. From the start to the end of the program. I made the most amazing friends who became my family and experienced and participated in more than I ever thought I would. So when asked to choose one favorite event during my time abroad, I find it most challenging. But to settle with one, I chose my roadtrip to East Coast, Aotearoa, ke onehānau o Ngāti Porou. This place, of all places that I visited while in NZ, has to be my favorite. The Coast simply reminded me of home. It was like stepping into a different world, especially coming from the city and all the works of the modern lifestyle. The Coast seemed so calm and kicked back. I felt comfortable straight away. Not too many shops are available for miles and there is just so much free land everywhere. It had that "untouched" feel to it. The mana still flowed strong in the land and in the people too, and you could feel it at all times.