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A few nights on the farm

June 17, 2010

EDITOR'S NOTE: Throughout the summer, ASU students studying abroad will be writing back to the states about their overseas adventures. Fostering international student experiences is just one part of ASU's commitment to making a global impact.

Marie's blog:
These past few days have been filled with adventures. We are in Taupo, a geothermically active area. There are hot springs spouting steam everywhere you look, and there is more fog at night than I have ever seen in my life. Today we went on a river jet adventure, and played in geothermicallywarmed streams on our way to a pool that was supposed to be hot but was actually just not-cold. We also visited a gorgeous waterfall, Huka Falls.

Earlier this week, our group split in two and half of us headed off to farmstays. Farmstays are just about the most wonderful things ever. Basically, we hopped on a bus to Piopio (a small farming village of 500) where we split into groups to go live with farming families for three nights. My group of six girls went to stay at the Peterson’s sheep and beef farm. Between the delicious, fresh food; the long hikes up hills and through forests; and the lovely, generous couple that hosted us, it has been my favorite part of the trip so far. If I have one recommendation for the program, it would be to add more time to the farmstays.

Tonight, I will be working on a group project with three other students. In the next week, I have about 10 pages of work due, and have to find a subject for one more 45-minute long survey. Do not underestimate the academic load of summer study abroad. While you will have time to do "vacation" things, you will also be doing school work – remember, it is studying abroad.

Marie Manning, a global health major, will be a senior this fall. She is studying abroad in New Zealand, Fiji and London this summer.