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Study Ablog: From New Zealand with Love

The following blog post was written by Peer Advisor Sydney, a SEAS sophomore studying biomedical engineering and currently studying abroad in New Zealand! You can learn more about Sydney here.

As with most great things in life, studying abroad is not easy. Don’t get me wrong, it is a beyond amazing experience that I absolutely wouldn’t trade for anything in the world. But it isn’t all fun and games. Sure, it’s a lot of fun with a fair number of games, but there are still many of challenges along the way. Here are some helpful tips to help you survive the time of your life.

  1. Learn to love planning.
    If even the thought of planning a trip stresses you out, be prepared. Study abroad is 25% having the time of your life and 75% planning how to have the time of your life. Whether it’s planning how to even get there, or planning all of the adventures you want to have while you are there let’s just say you and your calendar are about to become very familiar with each other. But hey once you make it there all the stress of planning will melt away.
  2. Step out of your comfort zone
    You are on the adventure of a lifetime. Don’t be afraid to take some risks. Don’t be stupid of course, but you can take risks without risking potentially dying. Whenever somebody asks you to do something you aren’t sure about just think, “Will I ever get the chance to do this again?” “Will I regret it if I don’t?” “Will I regret it if I do?” If the answers to these questions are yes, yes, and no, respectively, go for it! Why not? You are there to have fun, so have some fun!
  3. Don’t be afraid to travel alone
    Traveling alone is not as scary as it sounds. I promise. Especially if you come into it with plan (see above). During my mid-semester break I spent a few days traveling alone and honestly it was the best few days of my entire break. The great thing about traveling alone is you can do whatever you want whenever you want. It’s an absolutely refreshing feeling and it really takes a lot of the stress out of traveling.
  4. Take care of yourself
    Don’t forget to take care of yourself. It is very easy to fall into the trap of feeling like any time not spent adventuring is a waste of time, but that’s not true. It is okay to take some time for yourself to relax and decompress. As great as the whole experience is, it can be stressful. Your physical, mental, and emotional health is just as important abroad as it is back home.
  5. Maybe try going to class?
    Yes, you are in an amazing new country with so many great experiences waiting for you. BUT don’t forget, you are still a college student. Sad, but true. You still have to pass your classes and one of the easiest ways to do that is going to class every now and then. You may be in a new country, but college basically still works the same way. Sorry to disappoint.
  6. Take plenty of great photos
    When in doubt, take a photo. You absolutely want to catalogue this amazing experience with as many photos as you can. Not only will they allow you to show off to the whole world what an amazing time you are having (we all do it, don’t lie), but they will also help you remember this experience when you get back home. Here are some of my personal favorite photos from my time here:

Franz Joseph Glacier

Lake Tekapo

Milford Sound

Raglan

Hobbiton

Bridal Veil Falls

Waiotapu geothermal area

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