After leaving New Zealand towards the end of June, I have been home for about two and a half weeks now. The adjustment has been somewhat strange; however, being home and back in warm weather has made the transition much easier than I anticipated. Not only this, but being able to come back and share all my memories and travels during my time abroad has also been very enjoyable, simply by being able to relive all the amazing moments and trips I had been able to experience during my time in New Zealand. A lot of people warned me about the transition being difficult, and I believe IES Abroad helped make the transition as easy as possible. I have found that keeping busy and simply taking the time to catch up with my family and friends has made me appreciate the opportunity I had as well as appreicate my home and the people who have supported me along my entire journey. It was weird at first to be home and not traveling like I had consistenly been doing abroad, but it also feels good to relax for a moment before going back to school and getting back into my normal routine. Overall, I believe coming back home has not been as difficult as I thought and am excited to go back to New Zealand in the (hopefully near) future.
Studying abroad has certainly broadened my horizons, and I have already begun to save up and plan more travels across the world! I think that was one huge takeaway for me, especially being back home. I have realized there are so many places I have yet to see and visit, even places nearby my home that I always knew were there but never sought to see for myself. There are so many beautiful places I have yet to visit, and travelling to New Zealand has made me crave many more adventures. Before going abroad, I was most nervous about being away from my home for almost five months. I had never done something alone for that long, but now that I am back I am more confident in myself and realize that I can be away from family and friends, while still keeping in close contact with them. I can ultimately say I have grown so much from the experience, and not only has it taught me a lot about myself, I was able to challenge myself in a lot of ways that I never thought I would. From travelling alone, to reaching out and making more friends across the world, New Zealand has given me a place I can call home away from my own home. I look forward to following the next group of IES Abroad students studying abroad in New Zealand and living vicariously through all their upcoming adventures. New Zealand, I'll be back!!!
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<p class="MsoBodyText" style="margin-top:.45pt"><span style="line-height:103%">Beyond my academic interests, I am a firm believer in exploring the world and what nature has to offer. Hiking, traveling, exercising are some of my main interests. I believe that life is about embracing every opportunity that comes your way. In the end, a lifetime is a string of experiences and this experience would be one to be remembered.</span></p>