What is your name, class year, and your majors/minors/concentrations?
My name is Becca Thompson and I am a senior. I will be graduating with a major in Psychology and concentration in Human Development. I also have minors in Spanish and Sociology.
Where did you study abroad?
I studied abroad in Palmerston North, New Zealand.
What was your favorite moment while abroad?
My favorite moments while abroad (because they are tied!!) would be going to an All Blacks Rugby game, skydiving from 17,000 feet over the gorgeous Lake Taupo, and exploring the only active marine volcano in New Zealand on an island named White Island or Whakaari.
What were you most worried about in terms of studying abroad?
I was worried about being literally on the other side of the world from my family (Maryland to NZ, couldn’t have gone any further away!) I was also worried about missing my pets, let’s be honest.
What did you learn while abroad? (Not just in terms of coursework, but about the culture and, cheesy as it is, yourself?)
I learned about different mental healthcare practices through my abnormal psychology class, which I found very interesting. I also learned about the indigenous people to New Zealand, the Māori. About myself, I learned how strong I am and I furthered my passion of traveling!
Did anything happen that you weren’t expecting? Similarly, were there any moments that particularly struck you while abroad?
I definitely did not expect to meet some of my best friends while abroad. Although we are located all over the place, we still talk often and cannot wait to plan a reunion. There were many twists and turns during my time abroad, but each adventure had its own purpose and lessons.
What are your plans for the future and how will you use what you learned while studying abroad to help you?
Studying abroad helped me to realize my interest in social work through the introduction class I took with one of the best professors I’ve ever had. This class helped me to realize that I would like to pursue child advocacy/family law in order to create change here in America. I would love to go to school in NZ to gain a better and more in-depth understanding of their social work practices, which strive to include all cultures and all people in a respectful manner.
Any advice for other students interested in studying abroad?
Just GO! Studying abroad changed my life and opened up so many doors for me. My time in New Zealand helped me to realize what I would like to pursue after college. I met so many incredible people and I now have an incredible core group of friends spread throughout the United States, as well as an extended family in Palmerston North.