Returning to New Zealand had been a dream of mine since I first fell in love with the country when I visited with my family in 1997. So when the opportunity presented itself for me to study abroad, the country was an obvious first choice. As a geology major with a minor in environmental studies, I knew New Zealand’s diverse landscapes would provide the perfect setting in which to continue my studies and indulge in my love of backpacking (or tramping as it’s called in NZ).
At Dunedin’s University of Otago, I took courses in Field Mapping & New Zealand Geology and Maori Society, which helped me to explore the country both physically and culturally. I also enrolled in two graduate courses: Paleoceanography and Isotope Geochemistry, which provided me with the unique opportunity to delve deeper into fields of study I plan to pursue in graduate school. In my spare time I put my tramping boots the test, experiencing the country’s alpine peaks, rugged coastlines and sunny beaches, and learning much along the way. In short, as the Kiwis say, the whole experience was “sweet as…”