- United States of America
Why did you choose to study in New Zealand?
I chose to study in New Zealand firstly because of my home university’s connection to the University of Waikato. I was also drawn to New Zealand because of the rich and unique Māori culture here.
It’s been great getting to know new people. New Zealanders are so multi-cultural and have such a diverse outlook on life.
Why did you choose to study at the University of Waikato?
The University of Waikato has strong connections with my home university in the USA, so it made the choice an easy one for me.
What do you enjoy most about studying at the University of Waikato?
I’ve really enjoyed the social aspects at the University of Waikato. There is always something happening on campus. I’ve also enjoyed getting to learn more about the different cultures throughout the Oceania region, through meeting different people from this area of the world.
Of the places you've visited while here, which one is your favourite and why?
Having to pick a favourite is a tall order. I’ve travelled to Hobbiton, home of Lord of the Rings, Raglan which has a great surf beach, Waitomo glowworm caves, and done the Tongariro alpine crossing hike. I’ve also visited Waihi beach and done many smaller hikes.
Ocean Beach at Kawhia is an awesome experience, getting to play in the surf and be near such a large body of water. The Tongariro alpine crossing was an incredible hike physically, as well as visually. Seven hours of hiking, including a peak of 1169 metres, really means you can take your time and appreciate what we have around us.
Another contender for best trip was the Waitomo glow-worm cave. As a student studying astronomy, it was fascinating to see the ceiling of a cave lit by thousands of glow-worms, just like stars lighting up the night sky. Overall what really made each experience so memorable was the privilege of sharing them with other people I have met since I arrived in New Zealand.
Do you have any advice for students considering studying abroad in New Zealand?
I would simply say, don’t hesitate! Studying at the University of Waikato has allowed me to meet so many new people and allowed me to gain an understanding of their unique culture and enjoy learning their perspectives on things.
What one thing have you found most different here than from home?
The stars at night here are amazing. I’m an astrology student so the stars and the path of the sun here have been interesting to me. People here drive on the left side of the road and everyone always has bare feet. The weather and the landscape are also quite different to home. There are also practical differences like the currency. The New Zealand accent is also something distinctive. The diversity in the community here is also noticeable compared to home.