Making memories all over New Zealand

Veronica Rusk
July 18, 2018

Hello ladies, gentlemen, and non-binary folk!

So last time I was speaking to you, I was just arriving in Auckland. As I am writing to you now, I am just a few days away from ending my program. I still can not believe that.

Our first weekend here, a few of my new friends and I went to Lake Taupo. It was a last minute and impromptu trip. We went kayaking on the lake and took a dip in the famous hot springs. In our second weekend here. My class took a field trip to the Hobbiton movie set! If you are a fan of the Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit or you just want to see movie set, this is a New Zealand must! My class had the opportunity to go to the movie set with our instructor, John Callen. Not only has he been working in the film industry for many years, but he also played Oin, a dwarf in The Hobbit trilogy. He had many colorful behind-the-scenes stories! That same weekend a few friends and I played tourist and did a hop-on-hop-off bus around Auckland. We visited both the Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Aquarium and the Auckland Zoo. These places are a must for animal lovers!

While all of these places were very fun and unforgettable. My favorite place was our field trip to Wellington. In Wellington we learned what it’s like to preserve film at the Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision film archives. At the film archives we also learned about how the Maori culture has been represented in films throughout the years. We also had the opportunity to go to the Park Road Post Production Studios. This is where all of the Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and many other of Peter Jackson’s films were edited and produced. Our final stop (and one of my favorite places) was the Weta Workshop. All film lovers must try and visit this amazing place. It is a working workshop where they make props, prosthetics, and special effects for many famous movies. The movies they have worked on include Lord of the Rings,The Hobbit, Avatar, and most recently Thor: Ragnarok.  

My study abroad experience has been full of amazing memories from field trips to moments in the classroom to just going out with friends. I’ve learned so much and I can’t wait to tell you all about it once it finally all sinks in!

In my next blog post, it will be reflecting on my experience and telling you my favorite things and memories about New Zealand


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Veronica Rusk

<p>Hi, My name is Veronica Rusk. I am currently a Sophomore attending Loyola University Chicago. I love to create and edit videos. In my spear time I watch Netflix and play video games.</p>

2018 Summer 1, 2018 Summer 2
Home University:
Loyola University Chicago
Chicago, IL
Film Studies
Women's Studies
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