Hi! Welcome to my New Zealand Blog! A bit about me…
I am from Charlotte, NC, and a junior at Davidson College. I play for the Davidson women’s soccer team and am a computer science major, with a math minor. I have a younger sister and a dog named Ripple, after a Grateful Dead song. I love doing yoga, going to concerts, healthy food, skiing, reading, and going on adventures.
I am incredibly excited for the opportunity to go abroad to New Zealand next semester. While I have loved my time at Davidson, I knew I could not miss the opportunity to expand upon what I know and see the opposite side of the world. I chose New Zealand because of its beautiful landscape, good computer science programs, and because I did not want the normal European abroad experience. I wanted to be somewhere that I may never get the chance to see again, with proximity to Asia and Australia (both of which I plan to visit!). While I would have liked to be immersed in a foreign language, I feel that experiencing the kiwi culture will still challenge me in many ways: I expect that there will be instances of cultural miscommunication, and I am interested to hear about the general views of Americans. I love that New Zealand is known for its landscapes, adventure sports (surfing, sailing, skydiving, yay!), minimalistic lifestyle, and rugby- I plan to experience all. I chose the University of Otago because they have a very solid computer science department, and I will be able to experience a learning environment very different from my small, liberal arts school. Also, it is located on the South Island, which is known to be one of the most stunning places in the world. I am excited to be both near the ocean and mountains, and a close drive from the lively city of Queenstown. The living arrangements for international students at the University of Otago is also ideal: I will be in a flat with one kiwi student and 4 other international students. I hope I am able to interact with people lots of of different cultures!
I expect that my time in New Zealand will be exciting, vibrant, eye-opening, and adventurous, but also challenging at times, as I live in a foreign country far from my family and friends. I look forward to the fun but I also am prepared for when I get sick, lonely, and swamped with schoolwork. But I know I will be able to overcome these moments by embracing the beautiful landscape and the new friends I hope to make. My goal is to get involved in activities I don’t normally participate in: I plan to join a rowing or sailing club, get a job at a coffee shop, and learn to play the guitar. For once I will not prioritize soccer or school: I will focus on fun and my overall experience. I am counting down the days until my flight takes off!