Monday, August 1, 2016

Allison and Jamie in New Zealand!

Kia ora!

It is crazy to think I’ve been living here in Palmerston North, New Zealand, for three weeks already! I have already created plenty of fun memories in Palmy (I haven’t made it outside the city yet!) and I have had plenty of opportunities to get to know my flatmates. While I have adjusted pretty well, there are some things that have required adjusting. The biggest change from the US I have experienced is the weather. With New Zealand in the Southern Hemisphere, I arrived in the heart of winter. It took a bit of adjusting to board a plane in 100-degree weather and then get off another plane in 50-degree weather.

Jamie (named after James Cook) was excited for classes to start!
The biggest tool I have used to get to know my flatmates is a pretty simple one: Pokémon Go. We’ve spent many cold nights walking around campus catching Pokémon (Team Instinct, because we’re all about the underdog!). We’ve balanced our Pokémon catching with movies and TV shows during the rainy days since I’m pretty movie illiterate. (Rest assured, all professors reading this, I have been doing my schoolwork!)

This sign lights up at night and during one of our quests for Pokemon I had to stop and take a picture!

I love how naturally beautiful campus is.

I am so content with choosing Massey University’s Manawatū campus as my new home. Palmerston North reminds me so much of Greensboro in so many ways. It has a bus system that is free to students, campus is a manageable size, campus is beautiful, and some of the activities are similar! The first Wednesday of the semester was known as “Club Day,” so for a couple hours all the clubs gathered in the concourse so people could sign up (sound like fall kickoff to anyone??). I’m also not missing any of the food trucks from home either because there are food truck festivals in the town Square!

Town is just as beautiful as campus.

The sun setting with the clock tower in the Square (once again we were out catching Pokemon)

I know everyone who posts becomes an advocate for study abroad, and that’s exactly how this is ending. DO IT! You will regret nothing – I’m a solid 3 weeks into living here, 2 weeks into classes, and 1 week away from my first adventure outside of Palmy. Within a week, this place felt like home and it’s hard to imagine having to leave in four months. Don’t be afraid to go somewhere new and unknown and try something you normally wouldn’t! 

When it gets dark, the clock tower in the Square lights up and changes colors.  Its is probably one of the coolest things about town.

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” - J. R. R. Tolkien


Allison Smith

Massey University

Palmerston North, New Zealand