Charlotte Telfer-Wan, Roy’s Peak Wanaka, New Zealand

By: Charlotte Telfer-Wan, Simon Fraser University, winner of the BC Study Abroad: Stories from Abroad Scholarship

Study Abroad Destination: Auckland, New Zealand

The study abroad experience is like a big juicy sandwich. At one end, you have the studying; receiving a quality education at a different university. At the other end, you have the abroad portion; living and travelling through a different country. In my case, I chose to come to The University of Auckland in New Zealand for 4 months.

At my new university, I am in courses related to my major that were not offered at my home University (Simon Fraser University). Studying here is different, not only do the courses cover new topics but the teachers have a different approach to teaching. I have been exposed to new concepts and ideas enabling me to think outside of the box or outside of the way I am used to thinking. The country is also very beautiful, green, and humid. The mountains, beaches, and interesting cities have provided me with some wonderful adventures.

The juicy inside contents of my study abroad sandwich are the absolutely fantastic, unexplainable, priceless things I have encountered and did not expect or plan for before I left home. The life experiences I’ve had are equally as valuable as the education I’ve received from University.

Learning abroad is not all about studying. I’ve stumbled upon tasks such as renting cars and Air B&B’s, currency conversions, flight organization, people organization, time management on trips, and much more. These are life lessons that one cannot be taught but only find success through trying, failing, and trying again. Studying Abroad has been an excellent way to grow as a person and to take responsibility for how I would like my life to go.

Another lovely portion of my study abroad sandwich is the new friends I’ve made. Most of us have travelled to New Zealand from all over the world and have the same educational endeavours, and outlook on life. It’s astounding when strangers can become great friends without a clue where each other have come from or what is going to come next. Some of the best things can't be planned but result from pure lust for life and willingness to walk around without knowing what you are doing.

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