The Study Abroad Newsletter

Home Away From Home

Christine Joy Galdones | Business and Healthcare Double Major - Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Group of Girls wearing Red I’m Christine Joy Galdones and I am a double major in Business Administration in Healthcare Management and Communication at UH Hilo. I decided to study abroad in Wellington, New Zealand and attend Victoria University of Wellington. I studied abroad with the promise of making connections with people all over the world and to also engage in more self-seeking. Within the 7 weeks of being in Wellington, I was able to keep that promise to myself; a promise that entails so many memorable moments. Majority of the connections and friendships I made were from Stafford Hall. My hall was known as one of the most diverse halls and I was able to meet friends from all over the world including Spain, Sweden, Finland, China, and even the countries that I never heard of before! Our true bond was revealed during the VUW’s orientation week hall chant off. For the first time ever, Stafford Hall made history by winning the hall chant off with our feisty hall chant. Within only one week of knowing each other, Stafford Hall became a family.

My favorite place in Wellington was the waterfront. Only a 10 minute walk away from my hall, I found myself going to the waterfront almost everyday to explore with friends and to also have some time to myself. Whenever I felt like my emotions were getting to me, I would take a visit to the waterfront and listen to the calm water and watch the many people that would pass me. Going to the waterfront gave me different perspectives on life and made me realize what life is all about: taking chances, spreading positivity, and letting go of what can’t be changed. The waterfront was my safe place, a place where I could reflect and remove all the negative emotions. This is also where my friends and I would go for our walks or even a place to eat. The best thing about the waterfront is that it reminded me of Hawai’i. The scenery and the people I met there made me feel like the aloha spirit is always alive no matter where you go.

The first picture is a group selfie of some of the friends I made at Stafford within my first week of being there. We showed our Stafford spirit by dressing up and yelling our hearts out in front of the school.