How New Zealand Changed My Life | St. Lawrence University

How New Zealand Changed My Life

Hannah Doro

I always knew that I wanted to study abroad, so when the opportunity presented itself for me to spend a semester in Dunedin, New Zealand, it almost seemed too good to be true. St. Lawrence helped me acquire the tools to learn and grow in a country on the other side of the world, all while getting the credits I needed to finish my Biology and Anthropology majors on time. My advisors were encouraging and supportive, and gave me the confidence to be successful off campus.

While abroad, I studied at the University of Otago, and my studies allowed me to understand a new norm. New Zealand culture, while not too different from that here in the U.S, helped me see that while we my have an entire ocean separating us, we are not that different. One of my classes, called ‘Anthropology of Health’, gave me a different perspective on health and care giving practices from around the world. Outside of class, I learned how to surf, how to make the perfect cup of tea, and how to pack a hiking bag just right so you can fit everything you need. I learned so much in just five short months, and I wouldn’t have changed it for the world.

My favorite part of my experience was the amount of people I met that will forever have an influence on my life. I met some of my best friends, and was able to connect with and learn from people with such different backgrounds. From Chile to the United Kingdom, I met  people I have formed lifelong bonds with, who taught me so much. St. Lawrence allowed me the opportunity to grow into the person that I am on campus and on the other side of the planet, and for that I am eternally grateful.