Do you have any thoughts about where your next holiday paradise is after these intensive exams?
Hello students! I hope everyone is not too stressed out about the end of the semester!
Kiwis are famous for being adventurous and nature lovers. Travelling can be quite relaxing but hectic at the same time, but I am sure most people would love to experience a whole new, different culture for themselves and broaden their horizons by embracing the beautiful landscape and exotic food! I was in fact, quite conservative and ignorant five years ago when I was still studying in Hong Kong. In this blog, I would like to share some problems and exciting things that I came across by studying abroad in New Zealand, that could be useful for people thinking to go on an exchange and trying a new internship anywhere in the world.
1. Adapting to a whole new, different lifestyle
Moving from the hustle and bustle of a metropolitan city to a rural relaxing vineyard town, Nelson, was a complete shock to me. Not like I was not doing any preparation to move to a new country, but the experience was not what I expected. Being actively engaged in different volunteer groups or hobbies is a great idea to meet people and get to know the culture. Being part of the language community from my college, I met a lot of like-minded people who shared similar values with me and eventually helped me get used to the change in lifestyle.
2. Being homesick drives you to adult up
After a month or so, I started to feel homesick, missing all the everyday family life and traditional food :P The main challenge for me was the communication skills, which made me feel disconnected with people, it could have also been my different culture. My English was not good at all when I first arrived and I found it difficult to communicate with my classmates. I realised this is a huge problem that is stopping me from being part of the community. So I decided to seize all the opportunities to talk to native English speakers and hopefully get better at communicating. Luckily enough, as time went by, I made group of close friends that helped me build my identity in my last two years of high school.
3. Transitioning to university
Thank you, Nelson, for giving me such a unique and life-changing experience for my last two years in high school. Deciding which university to go to was another problem. I will say being in a different city make a huge difference, as I decided to go to Auckland. Meanwhile, with all the craziness and fun of being a fresher in university and the struggle to make new friends, University somehow creates a kind of isolation between people. People who don't go to lectures vs. who are actively involved different clubs, some people are just less likely to be friendly to each other.
Being in New Zealand has helped me get closer to fulfilling my goals and bringing me closer to success. University could be a great place to do whatever you want and the connections here could be temporary, unless you make sure to maintain them. Now I am closer to graduation; I will say there is a lot of opportunities and help that you can get from university compared to what I could have gotten in my hometown. You could be starting a new club, learning a new language or creating your first startup, at the end of the day these few years of life could make a huge difference and give you new insights. Make the change or become who you want to be while you still have the passion. This is my experience of studying abroad.
All the best
Jazmine - Kimera Ambassador