Finding inspiration in and out of the classroom
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.
Guess what? I’m in New Zealand! More specifically, I’m on the South Island, in Christchurch. I have been here for two whole days – three, if you count the fabulously long day spent in and out of airports. Although we have only been in the city thus far, I have already learned a ton. For instance: New Zealand tap water is safe for drinking. This might not sound so impressive or awesome, but it really is. Do you have any idea how convenient it is to be able to fill your water bottle up from the sink and have it taste good? Amazing!
So far, I have gone to class, visited the Canterbury Museum, walked through Our City O-Tautahi, a gorgeous botanical garden. For dinner, we hopped on our "coach" (bus) and went to the Tamaki Heritage Experience for a very illuminating look in Maori (the indigenous peoples of New Zealand) history through their own eyes.
Yesterday, three local experts came into our classroom and gave hour-long presentations on topics such as New Zealand’s health care system, its ecology and ecological changes since man arrived, and local land use. They were among the best speakers I have ever encountered. It was amazing how much what we learned about in class tied directly into nearly everything we saw at the museum.
I'll soon be heading off to a group discussion where we will be talking about and synthesizing everything we’ve learned so far. Then after that, a few classmates and I are thinking about heading down to the coast.
Marie Manning, a global health major, will be a senior this fall. She is studying abroad in New Zealand, Fiji and London this summer.