I can’t believe the end of semester is approaching. It’s so weird to think that I’ve been here for 4 months now. I’ve gotten so used to living here and am really going to miss it when I go home.
I only have one final exam, on June 28th, but UC gives us a full week of study break followed by two weeks of finals. Since I didn’t need 3 weeks to study, some friends and I went up to the North Island for some traveling. We went to the capital, Wellington, for 3 days and explored around there, but my favorite part was road tripping from Auckland to Cape Reigna at the tip of the North Island. The no driving policy IES has is annoying, but since I have friends who aren’t on IES, we were able to make the trip possible. We spent two days in Paihia, at the Bay of Islands and it was beautiful. We met a guy named T there who is a native who loves meeting backpackers. He has a bunch of flags from around the world in his living room and had us sign his American flag. After Paihia, we headed up to Cape Reigna, where we walked out to the lighthouse at the very tip of the island and watched the sunset over the ocean. It was absolutely beautiful. We camped there that night and then went sand surfing the next day at the sand dunes. We spent the night in Kaitia and then our last night in Auckland before flying back to Christchurch.
This trip was absolutely amazing. It was my favorite trip I’ve taken in all my time here. We had a really laid back attitude about the whole vacation and just kind of winged it, which turned out perfectly. We had a few solid plans, and all our hostels booked, but most of the things we did, we just decided on the spur of the moment. I’m so glad I went on this trip, with an amazing group of friends. I’m really going to miss New Zealand when it’s time to go home.
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<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>