Studying abroad in Wellington, New Zealand was the perfect fit for me for so many beautiful reasons. Going into studying abroad, I had very little idea where I wanted to go, and I am so glad I ended up in Wellington. The cool coffee capital culture of Wellington always seemed to amaze me. Wellington is the cultural capital of New Zealand and it shows, with many museums, live music bars, great coffee and restaurants and a bustling waterfront filled with many weekend markets. Living in Wellington never had a dull moment as there is so much to do in the city. Over the course of the semester, I attended a Diwali festival, a rugby game, and many concerts.
But New Zealand is much more than city life, the real fun comes from getting outside and exploring the completely gorgeous landscape. Almost every weekend, my friends and I would rent a car, for relatively cheap, and go "tramping", the kiwi term for hiking. As an avid outdoorsman, the scenery was one of the many reasons I chose New Zealand and I was not disappointed in the slightest. Every single trip was better than the last. A few highlights included staying in the famous Mueller Hut in Mount Cook National Park, a solo backpacking trip through the local forest range, and my own little hobbit pilgrimage to the fires of Mount Doom! Overall, planning and going on trips ranging from one day to two weeks were was my favorite part of my abroad experience.
Studying abroad with TEAN was also a great experience both before and during my time in New Zealand. Before arriving, there are so many different tasks that need to be completed including visas, class registration, housing, etc. But TEAN made it so easy. I was matched with one of their employees, who took me through all the various steps and eliminated so much hassle in the process. She answered the countless e-mails I sent to her very promptly and always had correct and timely information. While in New Zealand, TEAN's orientation helped us adjust to the initial culture shock of being abroad and was a good transition period that eased us into adjusting to living abroad. During the orientation, we learned to perform a Maori song and visited Milford sound, a highlight of my entire time abroad. Orientation also acted as a great time to create a network of students to visit in the other cities when making future travel plans! After arriving in Wellington, the TEAN students came together for three activities, a rugby game, a trip to Weta Workshop and a tour of a bird ecosanctuary. Overall, I would highly recommend studying abroad in Wellington, especially with TEAN. My only request to you if you do go is taking me with you!