The Study Abroad Newsletter

Leap of Faith in New Zealand

Richard Nakamura
University of Waikato, New Zealand

I don’t think I can narrow down just one most memorable experience. The whole study abroad experience was amazing, but if I had to choose a couple, one would be joining the Maori Club, Te Waiora. This was a great way to make friends and learn about another culture at the same time. It was great to have a friend in New Zealand already. Our friend Mahue came to Hilo a couple years before we went to Hamilton and he helped us out a lot with familiarizing ourselves with the area. He also introduced us to all of his friends and they welcomed us with open arms.

The other experience had to be bungy jumping and skydiving. With both it was such an adrenaline rush that I couldn’t feel much besides energy afterwards. With bungy, I feel like it’s somewhat similar to deciding to study abroad. You can plan to go, but once you get to the edge (or date), it is a completely different feeling. There is that leap of faith, both literally and figuratively, that has to be taken in order for the new experience to take place. I’m glad I took that leap of faith with both skydive/bungy and studying abroad in New Zealand. The feeling afterwards is something that only experiencing it can describe. If anyone has to opportunity to study abroad (or bungy haha) I think they should definitely take advantage of it and do it!

Richard and friends in New Zealand

Richard Nakamura at Waireinga Falls