The Study Abroad Newsletter

NZ-Victoria University; A month can change your life!

Billie-Ann Bruce | Psychology and Pre-Law major - Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

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The opportunity to study abroad is something many only dream of obtaining. Traveling to New Zealand will be an experience that I will never forget. I was set to study at the University of Victoria in Wellington in 2020. COVID -19 had different plans, although shorter than anticipated the amount of self-reflection that followed this experience will add immeasurable value to my future.I am thankful for these lessons that will serve me as a young person, student and professional. Coronavirus will go down in history as a devastating time for our global community. I could have never imagined the events that would take place while I began my year abroad in New Zealand. Reflecting on the how and why I made the choices I did while navigating the crisis spoke immensely to the character traits that show up when in chaos. I am proud of myself for many things and then of course there are moments and situations I wish I had made different choices and processed information differently.

Experiencing different people and a different culture highlighted the thoughts and assumptions that I never realized were connected to the culture I experienced here in the United States. I know now more than every just how connected the human race is regardless of nationality, ethnicity or other values and beliefs that make up an individual.

I gained not only skills that will help me better navigate transitions and new situations but also self-awareness that has taught me more about myself than I previously understood. I look forward to using the knowledge I learned as an opportunity to continue to grow.

Aotearoa has always held a special place in my heart and I will no doubt will continue to dream of exploring the rich land and culture that makes them so unique. It’s my hope to return one day and continue to learn from their people, government and culture. It's wild how quickly how things change but its amazing how one opportunity and one month can change your life!