Ashley is a junior Psychology major at the University of New Hampshire with a minor in Writing. She enjoys Film Photography, being outdoors, and spending time with her dog
Why did you choose this program?
I chose this program because I felt as though it was the best fit for me. I knew that I wanted to study abroad in New Zealand, but I wasn't sure which school I wanted to go to. My TEAN Advisor was very helpful and answered all of my questions. The program also offered a week long orientation which made me more comfortable in getting used to a new country.
What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?
My university assisted me with choosing the right program, selecting classes that fit my schedule, and making sure I had everything I needed in order to go. My program contacted my abroad university for me and provided contact information for someone I could talk to about getting my flights and make sure that I got to where I was supposed to go on time.
I had to get the actual flight by myself, but both my program and university assisted me with getting ready to go. Most of what I had to organize on my own took place when we arrived at the university.
What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?
Go out of your comfort zone. Of course, it will be uncomfortable at first, but it will add so much to your experience as a whole. Going out on a limb and meeting new people is what Study Abroad is all about, and it is what makes it the experience of a lifetime. I mean, when is the next time you're going to be on the opposite side of the planet for that long?!
What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?
An average day/week in this program is pretty typical. During the week, you're going to classes and writing papers that are due, and maybe studying early for your final exam. My weekends normally consisted of either hiking locally or anywhere along the South Island. On the weekends I didn't feel like travelling, I explore the city I was living in by going to the beach, finding a new place to eat, or walking down the shopping strips.
Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?
My biggest fear was the fear of missing out. I have a close group of friends back home, and it seemed as though they were going out everyday, and I hated that I wasn't a part of it. I overcame it by seeing things I could never see at home and going on adventures. I eventually came to realize that it doesn't matter that my friends at home are going to dinner for the 10th time this month, I'm out in New Zealand and living my best life! I did things I could never do at home, and that experience easily replaces any party I could ever go to.
What is your greatest memory from going abroad?
My greatest memory from going abroad is hiking Roy's Peak. It was very challenging for me because it was two and a half hours up at a steep angle, carrying 10-15 pounds of camping gear. Nearly the whole way up, I didn't think I was going to make it. The friends I had with me encouraged me to keep going and reminded me "it's about the journey, not the destination." The view was so breathtaking and worth the struggle of getting there. I was so proud of myself for doing it that I looked forward to the next time I’ll be able to do it again. That realization was what my whole abroad experience was centered around.