University of Waikato, New Zealand
I had New Zealand on my bucket list for as long as I can remember but studying abroad never seized to cross my mind.
When I jumped on that plane to head straight for Aotearoa, I sat in my chair shedding a few tears and couldn’t grasp the fact that it was actually happening. I, and a few of my friends who were also from Hawai‘i, decided to go on a road trip to the top of Te Ika a Maui (Aotearoa’s North Island).
It was a trip that lasted a total of four days which included chasing waterfalls to diving for our own seafood and everything in between. We spent most of our time driving through pastures of open land and livestock, but even that was something to be amazed by.
Sitting in the trunk as my feet grazed the sand along 90 Mile Beach, attempting to slide down the sand dunes under the moonlight, witnessing the best sunset at Te Rerenga Wairua (Northernmost Point), going for a stroll to find the Coromandel and enjoying a night in the city of Auckland were just some of the events that took place for the first time in our lives! All of that and more equated to an adventure of a lifetime.
Making connections and networking is what got me through my time abroad. If it wasn’t for that, I wouldn’t have been able to experience half of the many crazy experiences bestowed upon me. If I could have done one thing different, it would be to not limit myself in all the things I could have possibly done.
This opportunity was by far the greatest adventure my life has yet to offer and I highly encourage students to undergo the college experience in an alternate way. I have to send the biggest mahalo to my family, both friends here and abroad, and especially my mom for getting me through the series of obstacles (both good and bad) that came with being a global Vulcan.