Lili P. Exchange Ambassador
What is one word to describe your study abroad experience:
"Living abroad away from family and friends is tough, but not impossible! You make your own family while living away from home, and it becomes a second home."
Exchange student at Lincoln University, New Zealand
Studying Wildlife Biology and Conservation
- What is the best thing that happened while you were studying abroad?
Being able to travel with people I have met from around the world!
- What was the biggest cultural adaptation you had to make?
Life is very relaxed here, which may come as a surprise to some people who are more used to structure and instruction in life
- Where was the coolest place you traveled to during your study abroad experience?
Tongariro National Park, filled with sulphur pools, volcanoes, massive native forest and shrubland, and the coolest walk you could ever do.
- What was your best learning moment?
Everyone around the world carries their own 'invisible backpack' and will experience and react to things differently in life. The best thing to do is to keep your mind open and aware of these differences and respect them.
- Who was the hardest person to leave from home? How did you deal with that?
My mom and my sisters. They are my support system! I dealt with it using the magic of video chatting on Facebook and WhatsApp. I only called them every couple of weeks, to update them on how things were going, but other than that, I wanted to live in the moment!
- Who was the hardest person to leave that you met while on exchange? How did you deal with that?
My friends from my flat, and my aunt who lives in Christchurch. We are planning a trip to meet up again in a couple of years, and Facebook definitely helps heaps! I am also hoping to meet up with my aunt abroad or even come back to New Zealand for my Masters.
- If you were to recommend exchange to your best friend, what would you say?
Exchange is the best combination of getting credits for your degree AND having the time of your life. Who said you couldn't travel while in school?
- Would it be helpful to learn another language for this exchange? (ex. Do you need to know Swedish to study abroad at Malmo University?)
English is enough, and even better if you learn a bit of Te Reo Maori
- Did you live on-campus or off-campus? Would you recommend it, and why?
On campus, at a self-catered flat. I would definitely recommend it! The Farm Road Flats host international students and local students alike and allow for you to meet people and live independently as well. The flats are on campus and only a 5 minute walk from major buildings. It was great to live with people in a quieter lifestyle, with the ability to cook my own food and be allowed to host get-togethers without disturbing any other students.
- How did you finance your study abroad experience?
I worked during the school year at Brass Taps in Guelph, worked over the summer at a Provincial Park and got a little help from my mom.
- What interesting courses did you get to take while studying abroad? What was the title of the course(s)?
I took this AWESOME beer-brewing course: BICH209. We got to brew our own beer, do a sensory-analysis on it, and learn all the chemistry and science of brewing. I also took ECOL302, which is an introduction to the Wildlife Management sector in New Zealand, which is huge because of their massive invasives problem. That course had an epic field trip to the Mackenzie Basin. I took a Maori culture class, Treaty of Waitangi, MAST104, which I wholeheartedly suggest taking, or another Maori course. It really opens your eyes to the inter-culture relationships and injustices, which parallel what goes on in Canada, too. Finally, I took an Agroforestry course, FORS270, which was interesting because we got to go on a field trip to visit some farm foresting operations.
- Is there any other helpful information you would like to share with future study abroad participants?
Whatever you do, get out of your comfort zone. Your life will be changed completely and you will be surprised how many amazing things you learn about yourself and others along the way.