Although we’ve been done with classes for a month, this Saturday marked the end of exams here in New Zealand. Bittersweet to say the least. Currently, out of the 6 of us in my flat, only one flatmate and I are left. The majority of students, both kiwis and internationals left this weekend. I’m staying until Thanksgiving so I have a little time before I have to part ways with New Zealand, but I’ve already had to say my goodbyes to a lot of friends I’ve made this past semester. It’s such a strange feeling. A lot of times it’s difficult to explain my experiences to those who have never been to New Zealand, but the people here have lived it right alongside of you. You can’t help but share a special bond with those who’ve done the Nevis Bungee jump, conquered the Tongariro Alpine Crossing in sketchy conditions, and seen the All Blacks win the Rugby World Cup. It just seems like the relationships you build abroad are so unique. I’ve had so many great experiences here, mostly thanks to those I now have to leave. It’s sad saying goodbye to friends that are from New Zealand, because the likelihood that I will see them again is pretty slim. Most of my friends I’ve made are other internationals though- a lot from the U.S. I always tell people, “if you’re ever in Wisconsin, you got a place to stay.” I have a feeling not many have big plans for our beloved dairy state, but if I’m ever out in Cali or Jackson Hole, or any other corner of America, I know I will have a place to stay as well.
Cindy Frisch is studying abroad at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand.