New Zealand Blog #1

Published on Monday, February 28th, 2011

by Hillary Dzamba
Submitted Monday, February 28, 2011

Hillary hangs out at the Botanic Garden in Dunedin, New Zealand

Well after months of trying to make a decision and weeks of waiting to leave, I’m finally here in Dunedin, New Zealand and couldn’t be happier! On Tuesday February 15 I put aside my fears and anxiety as I said goodbye to my parents. I had built up this moment so much inside I just assumed I would burst into tears, but surprisingly not a tear was shed (well at least not by me!). I left Boston that afternoon and 6 or so hours later I arrived in San Francisco where I quickly boarded my international flight to Auckland, NZ. We were served dinner and wine, both of which were surprisingly really good. I tried my hardest to get some rest, but it just wasn’t possible, so in the end I slept for only 3 hours. After thirteen long hours sitting in the same position we finally began our descent into Auckland International Airport, around 6am on Thursday, so yes I completely skipped Wednesday. After going through customs successfully and waiting 6 hours, I boarded my third and final flight destined for Dunedin! This was by far the best one for multiple reasons, a) I had a window seat b) It was light out so I could really see the scenery and c) The flight was less than 2 hours.

Hillary (in the middle) at the train station in Dunedin with her flatmates.

Classes don’t start until Monday the 28th. So for the past week we’ve been able to do our own thing and explore our new surroundings. During the past few days I have spent time at the Botanical Gardens, exploring the downtown area and at the beach! One of the biggest shockers for me is how many people are here. Being use to Becker’s 2,000 student population it’s quite a leap to jump into a campus with over 20,000, but so far I love it here! Students are everywhere, everyone is kind,  and the campus is gorgeous. It’s great to be in a totally new environment with people from all over the world. As much as I love Becker and its tight community it’s awesome to be in a real “college town”, it has a totally different feel to it. I’m anxious to see what classes are like here and how they compare to what I am use to but I’m sure once I get the hang of it everything will run smoothly! My only complaint so far would be that the weather is very temperamental around here, for instance one second it will be hot and sunny and literally the next it will be cloudy and pouring rain. You just have to be prepared for anything!

And as I’m sure you have heard that an earthquake occurred in Christchurch, New Zealand. Thankfully it’s about a four hour drive from where I live, so only after shocks were felt around here. Many students had family and friends who were there and were in a panic to try and get a hold of them. It was a tragic event and my heart goes out to everyone it affected. I will keep you all posted on how things are down here and the experiences that lie ahead. I Hope all is well Becker!

Until next time
Hillary Dzamba

Watch for another Study Abroad Blog entry by Hillary by early April!