The third week of break, I went on the IES Abroad sponsored field trip to the Cook Islands! If you come here through IES Abroad, you absolutely must go! It’s not a place I would have planned a vacation to myself, but I’m glad I went. It was more about bonding with the other students in the group and learning about the Cook Island culture. Normally when I’ve visited different countries, people always talk about the cultural differences, but culture seems to be something in the background, with more subtle differences from what I’m used to. The Cook Islands was completely different. Because the country is so small, the people there are all very connected with each other and their culture. They were all very welcoming and excited to share their culture with us so that we could go home and tell others. I was expecting a tourist trap when I heard that almost 90% of the income in the Cook Islands is from tourism, but it was anything but that. While there are a lot of tourists, there are no big resorts or hotels on the island, only small hostels and inns. There is only one road, that goes around the circumference of the island. It was really different to adjust to the lifestyle there, even if we were only there for 7 days. I think one of my favorite things was that there were friendly dogs everywhere we went. They were all really sweet and just wanted to play or hang out with you. I really enjoyed my time in the Cook Islands, and especially having the week to really get to know the rest of the IES Abroad group.
More Blogs From This Author
<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">My name is Katie Steike and I'm a junior at the University of Rochester, studying molecular genetics and music. I love reading, playing soccer, and going on hikes and adventures! I'm going to be studying in Christchurch New Zealand for spring 2014 and I'm excited to become immersed in the Kiwi culture and explore the beautiful country!</span></p>