Interview with Myself, Thoughts on Going Abroad

Is this your first time abroad?

This is not my first time overseas. I have been lucky enough to travel with my family to Fiji (2014), Australia (2015), Hawaii (2016), and Vietnam (2017). My parents love to travel by Cruise Boat, so I have experienced many of our holidays on cruise ships, stopping off at different ports and exploring a different city each day.

What made you want to go on an OE? 

I looked into doing a semester overseas for the A semester of 2020. My planning stopped before it really started with covid putting a hold on everything. As I got further through my degree, I was still interested in studying abroad. Although, international travel was very uncertain with covid. When I read about the Prime Minister’s Scholarship for the Reimagining India study tour, I knew that this would be perfect for me. The scholarship included six weeks in India, travelling south to north, during January and February 2023. Everything about this scholarship was appealing to me.

  • Travelling with 20 other students from Victoria University of Wellington, the University of Auckland and the University of Waikato. 
  • Travelling during the C trimester in January and February when I didn’t have any papers. 
  • Having all costs covered! Including flights, accommodation, all meals and visa costs. 
  • Having a six-week virtual (on zoom) course leading up to the in-person programme. The purpose of this course was to prepare us for India so that we knew what to expect when we arrived. This opportunity also allowed me to get to know the other students on the programme before jumping onto 20 hours of flying together (split across three flights)
Matrimandir visit (Golden Ball), Auroville, Pondicherry

I wanted to gain life experience and get out of my comfort zone. I was also wanting to travel since I hadn’t left New Zealand since 2017. Being able to learn and embrace Indian culture through a hands-on experience is exactly what this programme could provide. 

Lunch at Gandhis Sabarmatic Ashram, Ahmedabad

What made you choose this destination?

India has always been a very fascinating country to me. I was aware of the rich culture and history that it had and wanted to learn and embrace it. I was interested in going to the markets, trying the food, celebrating the festivals, meeting the local people, experiencing the vibrant colours, and admiring the beautiful landscapes. It has currently been three weeks since I arrived in India, which makes it 1/2 way through our programme, and all I can say is that India hasn’t disappointed! It has given me everything I ever dreamed of and much, much more!

City Palace, Udaipur, Rajasthan

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