How Studying Abroad Changed My Outlook on Life
When I first arrived in New Zealand I was set on what I was studying and I had a my life figured out. I wanted to graduate college and work for one or two years paying off my undergraduate debt, retaking classes I didn’t do well enough in, and studying for the MCAT. I would then apply to medical school and become a doctor. My motive for studying medicine was to help people have healthy and happy lives and to better The Human Condition we live in today. I knew bettering The Human Condition would make me happy, however, there had always existed in my conscience a feeling that spoke to me causing me to think that perhaps this was not the right course for my life.
New Zealand, New Way of LifeI made the decision to study abroad early on during my sophomore year of college and before I knew it I was in New Zealand. Studying abroad was the best decision I made in college because something I did not expect happened: my aspirations changed. The enjoyment of experiencing a new country and culture on the other side of the earth as well as meeting people from the United States, New Zealand, and other parts of the world was much more than I had foreseen. Settling into my home university over the previous two years caused me to forget how new experiences and meeting new people can help you develop yourself, your ideas, and your perspectives.
To be happy you have to enjoy the journey to whatever you are aspiring to be.The first two weeks at my host country were lonely. I had never been so far away from the people I was close to and communicated with daily. Over time, I made new friends and we created weekly traditions. On Wednesdays I would make dinner for my flatmates. On Fridays I would go to the local arcade hall and play laser tag for three hours. On Sundays, after my neighbors, friends, and I finished our assignments and studying we would watch a movie together at my flat. This was a radically different, more social lifestyle than what I had lived at my home university. At home I would study for many hours each day because my university was scheduled on a quarter system in which one class would run for ten weeks and finals were taken within a week. In New Zealand, classes lasted for fourteen weeks and finals were over the course of an entire month.