Alumni Spotlight: Beth Allison


Beth is a 33-year-old graphic designer from New Jersey who loves her family, a strong cup of coffee and any vegan food she can get her hands on. Her favorite places tend to be theaters, used book stores, homes with animals and empty trails through woods.

Why did you pick this program?

I picked BUNAC because I wanted to be guided through the visa process and know I had their resources available once I got to NZ. I liked how simple BUNAC made the process, start-to-finish!

What do you tell your friends who are thinking about going abroad?

It's never too late. I realized I was seriously regretting not studying abroad in college. At the time, I wasn't brave enough to go that far from family and friends for such a long time. If it does feel overwhelming, consider picking a place where your first language is spoken or where you love the food! You'll be amazed at how brave you actually are.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Hunt for useful apps before you go. Especially check out the mass transit apps available for the place you're going (if you're headed to a city). You can easily crack the local bus or subway system with most apps and it will make you feel like a local.

Also! Keep doing what you love, wherever you go. Find the local version of whatever it is you do, and do it. I love theater, so I booked tickets to some shows in Auckland before I even boarded the plane!

What's your favorite story to tell about your time abroad?

It's not really a story, but I'll never forget standing on the beach at night and seeing the stars in the southern hemisphere for the first time. I'm a city girl, so seeing stars ANYPLACE is no small thing. But right then, I felt like everything I'd done to get to NZ was worth it, and it really hit me how incredibly lucky I was to have come so far.

How do you meet friends in a new place?

The BUNAC office is super social, and it's easy to meet nice people there. But by doing what you love and being OK heading out on your own at first, you'll find others who love the same things. Just strike up a conversation!