Time Abroad: Fall 2007
Major: Real Estate & Construction Management
Choosing to study abroad was a life changing experience and if given the chance, I would make the choice over and over again. I studied in Dunedin, New Zealand where people were more welcoming than I could ever imagine and the landscape was breathtaking everywhere I looked.
Initially I was nervous because not only would I be traveling to an unfamiliar place across the world, it was also the first time I would be living on my own. However, these preconceived notions quickly disappeared as I was greeted with absolutely nothing but kindness from the local people.
While I was abroad, I found out who I was and I learned to be more independent. I am no longer the girl who cares what other people think of her. I don't go out trying to impress people and I certainly don't change who I am to fit it. In New Zealand, I took on a new attitude because I figured I was only there for a few months; if I didn't fit in that would be fine because I would never see these people again after I left. However, something quite contrary to what I was thinking would happen actually happened. With this new attitude, I was able to relax and be myself without worrying all the time. People sensed this ease and joy about me and accepted me for myself. I didn't have to put on a act and because of that, the friendships I walked away with are absolutely irreplaceable. I gained life-long friends who I stay in touch with and have even visited. The people I met in New Zealand mean the world to me. I came back with a newfound confidence that people should like me for who I am. My heart was opened, and instead of gaining just new friends, I feel like I gained a whole new family.