Kia Ora! I have just finished up my fourth week of my semester abroad in Christchurch, New Zealand at Lincoln University, and it has been the most magical month of my life. The move over here was pretty seamless, and the introduction to the Kiwi way of life has been nothing short of amazing. I have already been on multiple adventures, from swimming with dolphins to sea kayaking to visiting Fiordland National Park, and I have found that New Zealand feels like something out of a fairy tale.
I would absolutely recommend both New Zealand and Lincoln University as a place to study abroad for the semester, especially for NRES students. There are so many courses that would easily transfer, as Lincoln’s primary academic disciplines include agricultural and environmental sciences. I am currently taking Applied Agroforestry, Engineering Precision Agriculture, and New Zealand Biodiversity. All of the classes offer field trips throughout the semester, allowing me to get a really insightful look at the different approaches and outlooks on environmental sciences. Not only are the academics great, but New Zealand’s perceptions on ecological health far exceeds that of America’s. There are only two feedlots in the entire country, and almost all of their meat is grass-fed and free range, making for a VERY pleasant culinary experience. Not only that, but recycling is a norm, you are required to bring your own bags to the supermarket, and energy usage is much lower than that of the traditional American consumer.
If you are thinking about studying abroad for a semester, I HIGHLY recommend it. My outlook on life has changed dramatically and I am so appreciative of the opportunities that Purdue Ag Study Abroad has given me. Also, because NZ is fairly similar to American culture, it is pretty easy to assimilate and it was a pretty easy adjustment to everything, other than driving on the left side of the road and using Celsius!