Alumni Spotlight: Katie Byers


Katie is Biology-Chemistry major and business minor from Manchester University pursuing a career as a physician assistant. She studied abroad in Dunedin, New Zealand in spring 2017.

Why did you choose this program?

I chose it because I was able to take classes that were required for my major or fulfilled core classes at my home university. I also wanted a very safe country where I was able to travel and see a lot of landscapes.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

Manchester University/BCA organized everything necessary for living in the country. The applications to Otago University, travel itineraries, living accommodations, and an orientation were all organized. Any extra travel and trips were organized on my own.

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

Travel as much as possible. There are so many places to go and see. Form a group of people that also want to travel. Rent a car, split gas, and go somewhere new every weekend. It is so worth it. Keep your mind open to any new opportunities, try everything.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

Monday-Thursday was filled with class and hanging out around Dunedin. Weekdays I had class and between class, I hung around the University or with friends. Weeknights were for hanging out with my flatmates and friends or working on homework. Friday-Sunday was reserved for traveling the country. Sometimes we went Thursday-Sunday for longer trips.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

I was scared that I would get homesick or do poorly in school. I was so busy and there was so much going on that I did not have time to get homesick. I felt like I was on my flight back home so quickly and never got homesick because I was always doing something so fun. School was also less time-consuming. There is much more emphasis on working on your own and no busy work. Grades consisted of papers and exams and that was it.