New Zealand: Connecting Study Abroad With Your Major

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Some students choose to study abroad in Kiwiland because it’s warm during our winter months, they’ve seen images of the beautiful scenery (both the landscapes seen in the Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter and the local rugby players seen in, well, short shorts) or simply because the natives speak English. What study abroad prospects may not know is that New Zealand offers a great way to enhance and/or supplement an academic major.

History & Communication: Diana West, a junior at Lasell College, was able to take two history classes which counted toward her major and two media classes to fulfill requirements for her communication minor. Not only did her courses contribute to her graduation requirements but they also shed light on her future career. West aspires to have her own “historical travel show,” so – during her semester abroad – she “tried to see as much of the city as possible and get invested in its rich, albeit short, history.” Maybe one day she’ll take her viewers back to Wellington!

Pharmacy: Georgina Waldman, a University of Pittsburgh sophomore, was impressed by the curriculum offered in New Zealand – she took a pharmacy course even though she would not have been able to at Pitt as only a second year student. In addition to being able to take courses ahead of time, she said “it was really interesting to see how other countries in the world do their health care and the differences within a field across oceans.”

Education: Megan Iliff, a senior at Drake University, was unable to directly fulfill requirements for her major, since all she had left in the States was student teaching. However, she did learn a lot about different environments for learning. Prior to studying abroad, she had never taken a class with more than one hundred people. As a result of this new experience, Cliff had to adjust and consider a system that depended on classes with “a lot less assignments that held a lot more weight on your grade.”

Psychology & Pre-med: Sumita Sharma, a junior at the University of California San Diego, admits that her studying abroad did not really overlap with her major; however, she really appreciated a breath of fresh air and a change from her memorization-based science classes. “It was kind of refreshing to take classes that were different for a change,” she says. With a tuned up mental stamina, Sharma can now look forward to curing everyone else!

Anthropology: Tessa Johnstone, a sophomore at Penn State University, explains, “studying abroad was really easy to connect to my major because a huge part of anthropology is about culture, particularly foreign ones…I think it is super easy to go abroad with a liberal arts major because so much of the stuff you experience in a foreign country is useful to your major.”

Whether directly counting toward these students’ graduation requirements or not, studying abroad in New Zealand clearly changed the outlook each person had on their respective major.

Sophomore > Marketing and Finance > University of Maryland

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