Grant and Joy here.
Today was our last day before traveling back to the States. It was pretty laid back since we spent the morning on the scenic route from Kaikoura back to Christchurch. We stopped at a cafe about halfway through the drive for a snack and to stretch our legs.
Then we stopped at a beach to take in the view and ate lunch at a fish and chips shop. After lunch a few of us went to the ice cream shop next door and got one last taste of hokey pokey ice cream.
Once we reached our accommodation in Christchurch we had to say goodbye to our tour guide, Doug. It was a very emotional moment as we sang My Heart Belongs to Michigan as a way to thank Doug for all he was able to teach us and the sentimental moments we were able to experience with him. Doug mentioned how important it was for us to bring a piece of our culture to New Zealand to share with their culture. We then shared with him our thoughts about the trip and what we would take with us into our future careers and experiences.
After Doug left we had a couple hours of downtime before going to dinner. Sally, our tour guide from a couple days prior, went with us to the restaurant. Once everyone had finished with their meals, we each took turns sharing what our most memorable parts of the trip were and what we had learned along the way. Each person had a unique outlook on what the New Zealand Study Abroad experience meant to them. After dinner we had a few hours to rearrange our suitcases and catch some sleep before leaving at 3:30am for the airport.
This has been a life changing experience for all of involved. The Nursing students learned all about how the ecosystem ties together with the health of the people of the area, and the Biology/Ecology students learned about how their work on the environment affects human health in the surrounding areas. Our Accountant, learned everything about health and ecology, as well as helping us with currency conversion while shopping for souvenirs.
The study abroad trip to New Zealand was a once in a lifetime experience. All the students on this trip will have a broader outlook on their profession because of the experiences we’ve shared and the knowledge we’ve gained. It has changed us as students, individuals, and future professionals.
After 35 hours of traveling from one hemisphere to the other, we can finally all sleep in our own beds. While trying to adjust to the jet lag, we can reflect back upon the wonderful New Zealand experience that Lake Superior State University provided us with, and start planning our own next worldly adventure.
Thank you to everyone who read our blogs and shared in our experiences!