Archive for the ‘New Zealand’ Category

Jackie Jorgensen, the Eagles Abroad marketing intern, writes:


I never knew 23 days could change my life; in just 23 days my perspective on this world was greatly enriched. After seeing New Zealand and Australia, I’m not sure how the world could ever get any more incredible. These countries offer vast jaw-dropping landscapes, and a beautiful culture centered on sustainability.


My name is Jackie Jorgensen, and I am a junior at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse.  This winter I went on the Eagles Abroad Sustainable Business program to New Zealand and Sydney and this year I am the new marketing intern back at UWL.


New Zealand opened my eyes to treating our planet with the care and respect it deserves.  Never in my life have I seen such clear blue waters, luscious greenery, and clean streets.  Growing up in Milwaukee, I have been exposed to the city pollution, and carelessness for the streets.  It was extremely refreshing to be exposed to a culture that takes such care of their environment.


While abroad our group completed several incredible hikes such as Aoraki/Mt.Cook and the Routeburn Track, we went sea kayaking, freely explored foreign cities, and dedicated a few days to a home-stay where I was placed with an incredible woman from the United Kingdom. A major highlight was traveling to the beautiful coastal town of Kaikoura, where we were able to swim with about 400 wild dusky dolphins!


Jan 16 167Alongside our adventuring and traveling, we also heard about concepts of sustainability from some truly inspiring Kiwi and Australian businessmen. They spoke about methods to leave less of an environmental footprint while still reeling in a solid profit.  It was truly refreshing to hear a non-Americanized business perspective.


New Zealanders truly value their land and society, which I found to be incredibly admirable.  Sustainable business is something every country needs to focus on and with this experience behind me; in the future I hope to be able to make a difference in how the citizens of the world do business.


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Joe Bagazinski, 2014-15 New Zealand and Sydney Sustainable Business student blogger, writes:

DSCN0740After hearing about the 2011 Christchurch earthquakes I was not sure what to expect when visiting the city, but it turned out to be one of the strangest feelings I’ve ever had. I never knew the old Christchurch, but as I walked through the shadows of what the city used to be, I felt a mixture of despair and hope. From the city blocks and infrastructure, you could tell there was so much tradition and life within the city that had moved away. Many parks and public spaces still remain, but almost everything else vanished followed the natural disaster. Blocks and blocks of buildings were destroyed in the earthquakes and gravel lots now stand in their place.

DSCN0726After initially seeing only the destruction, it was after having been in the city for a few days that I realized that Christchurch is as special as it ever was. Sure, many of the buildings have been reduced to piles of rubble, but the effort and drive of the residents is clear. Christchurch is a city rebuilding, and there is no hiding that fact, but it’s also one of the most unique cities I have ever visited. Everywhere you look, there is a pop-up organization or shopping place, such as Re:START, doing good to help the city. As a group, we visited a makeshift dance floor in the middle of the city, a few urban farms, and volunteered pulling weeds in gardens where buildings once stood.

Dec 24 1071During our time in Christchurch, I realized that a city is not made up of buildings and physical structures. A city is made up of individuals and spirit, and no matter what happens to the buildings, the spirit of Christchurch is evident in the heart of the city.

Christchurch is an extremely special city, and with the influx of new innovators and young people willing to put many thankless hours into improving Christchurch, there’s no doubt in my mind that it will be one of the most unique places on the face of the earth.

I never knew the old Christchurch, but I cannot wait to get to know the new one.

Dec 24 1074

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Adam Carron, the Buckeyes Abroad marketing intern, writes:

Figuring out how to avoid breaking the bank while studying abroad can be a difficult task, especially when it comes to food! However, I found that there are some strategies to limit this expense and put that money toward something much more interesting, such as a Shotover Jet ride in Queenstown!  Here are a few tips to keep you on track:

  1. Pack convenient snacks from home: Consider your staple foods that you have at home that would be beneficial to have while overseas. For example, think about granola bars and crackers that make easy, convenient snacks. Ensure you check local customs regulations for importing food. In particular, Australian and New Zealand customs regulations can be quite strict and you always need to declare any food items. After checking policies, then pack as many of these items as you can because they typically cost more, especially in Australia and New Zealand, but make delicious and cheap snacks that can substitute for lunches.
  1. Plan your meals in advance: Throughout your program, make sure to plan your meals to avoid impulse purchases that are simply convenient. Decide where you will be going for lunch or dinner and give yourself a budget so that you do not settle on a more expensive meal than you planned.

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  1. Head to the grocery store: Find time to visit to a local grocery store and purchase food with the intention of making your own meals whenever they aren’t provided with the group. For lunch, you can buy cheap sandwich makings that last several days and can still be delicious with a little bit of preparation. Making your own lunch provides flexibility when you are out hiking for the day and is much cheaper than a local café. For dinner, basic meals like pasta or burgers are inexpensive yet filling options. Plus, cooking dinner with your classmates can provide a unique bonding experience.

By following these simple and economical steps you should be able to save money overall or simply save up for a fancy dinner with friends or an adventurous activity on your free day! Utilizing some of these suggestions will help you stay under your food budget and prevent unnecessary stress when you are enjoying your study abroad experience.

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Joe Bagazinski, 2014-15 New Zealand and Sydney Sustainable Business student blogger, writes:

IMG_167570582499439Hi everyone! My name is Joe Bagazinski; I am a senior marketing student from the University of North Texas.

Nine months ago I was casually sitting in my Marketing Foundations course when an opportunity to do a Wintermester abroad in New Zealand and Australia was presented to us.

“Well, I don’t have anything better to do…”

Those words have become a motto for me. Many students pass up the opportunity to study abroad because of time, money or an assortment of other reasons. Despite having to navigate some challenges, I decided that I was not going to be one of those students. I want to see the world, and this will be my first step.

Often, the question is “Why should I do this?” but I consider that to be the wrong way to look at experiences. If you don’t have anything better to do, go do it, or ask yourself “Is there a good reason NOT to do it?”

Next week students from UNT and the University of Montana will be heading to New Zealand and Sydney on AUIP’s Sustainable Business Program – and I am one of them!

Hopefully following my posts on this blog will make you feel like you’re sitting across the table in New Zealand and Sydney as I write my posts. I plan on having plenty of pictures to share as well as a video or two documenting the days I spend abroad. From the extreme sports hub of Queenstown to recovering Christchurch and from windy Wellington to the cultural mecca that is Sydney, I’m excited to see what the world down under has in store for me.

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Evan Tipton, the Grizzlies Abroad marketing intern, writes:

New Zealand wintermester 2010-11“What is your favorite place?” Is a question you hear a lot as a professional in the travel and tourism industry. Every time I hear it, I give the same heartfelt answer, “The South Island of New Zealand, hands down.” During the winter of 2010-11, I got to spend five weeks in New Zealand on AUIP’s Sustainability study abroad course.

Given my professional commitment to sustaining wild places and indigenous cultures and my personal passion for the work, it made great sense to fly 7,887 miles around the globe to study in New Zealand. The adventure turned out to be the best travel experience of my life, and the most rewarding learning opportunity. Sure, swimming with 800 dusky dolphins in the wild, rafting the Hokitika River, plunging into Maori culture, and hiking in the sublime Southern Alps were worth writing home about, and so were the life-long friendships I forged on the trip. But its luminous, lasting lesson came through the experiential power of such hands-on academic work to broaden and deepen my vision of our globe’s fragile natural and social ecology.

As the new marketing intern for Grizzlies Abroad at the University of Montana, I look forward to sharing my New Zealand NZ Milford Soundexperience with students across campus. Don’t just take it from me; heed the wise words of prophets and saints when it comes to travel and learning, and then see for yourself!

“Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you traveled.” – Mohammed

“The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” – Saint Augustine

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As AUIP Maymester and summer programs quickly approach, our student blogging program is accepting applications. If you’re a student with a passion for writing, photography or videography, or just simply enjoy sharing your experiences with a vast audience, then we encourage you to apply.

AUIP will select student bloggers for each destination in Australia, Fiji and New Zealand as a way for you to voice your international education opportunity to people interested in study abroad and Oceania. No prior knowledge of blogging is required.

As a blogger, you could write about all the friends you make Down Under!

As a blogger, you could write about all the friends you make Down Under!

Full details on the blogging role entail:

Eligibility: Students must be currently enrolled on an AUIP 2014 program with one of our partner institutions in the United States.

Commitment: The commitment is to write a blog at least once before departure and then one time per week for the duration of your study program and also to create at least one video blog within two months of returning to the United States.

Application Process: Interested students should complete the 2014 AUIP Student Blog Application and AUIP Student Blog Contract by May 2, 2014. Faculty advisors at our partner institutions will likely have emailed this to students already. Selected bloggers will receive further guidance and support during their blogging.If you need a copy of the materials, email eleanor@auip.com.

We look forward to receiving your application!


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Alex Munoz, the Illinois Abroad marketing intern, writes:

Upon being accepted into last summer’s New Zealand Adventure Recreation and Tourism program, I did not know what to expect. I originally applied for the program because several students who had gone on it the previous year had nothing but good things to say about it. I had always wanted to study abroad, so I figured this was my chance. My classmates on the program include twenty-four University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign students and twelve University of Florida ones.

New Zealand landscapeI was already very good friends with one of the girls also studying on the program, which gave me more comfort about going to a different country. I originally expected to be attached at the hip with her, however I was very wrong. The experience of building new friendships was an everlasting experience. Not only did I become very close with those of us from the University of Illinois, but I also formed strong friendships with individuals from the University of Florida. Considering we were a very lively bunch, there was never a boring moment. Still to this day we talk on a regular basis.

Before going on the program, I was quite uneducated about New Zealand. In fact, the only facts I knew about the country came from the pre-departure quiz that had to be complete upon arrival. These were simple, fun facts about population, geography and culture that everyone traveling to the country should learn. I envisioned this study abroad to be more of a sightseeing program than a classroom, learning experience.

However, my views and education on the country quickly changed within the first couple of days in New Zealand. I had already learned more than I had imagined and seen the most beautiful sights I have ever seen in my life. My prediction of the program being more sightseeing than educational was very wrong.Weaving

During this study abroad program, the outdoors and our surroundings was the classroom. It was truly unbelievable to combine both activities and learning together. Many study abroad programs do not get the privilege of actually seeing and doing things that they are learning about. A few categories that we learned about and then encountered were ecotourism companies, the Maori people, native flora and fauna, adventure tourism and impacts on the environment.

If there is one piece of advice that I could give to anyone who is considering going abroad is to simply go. Education can only take your further in life and open up your mind.

And best of all, applications for the New Zealand Adventure Recreation and Tourism 2014 program are still being accepted. To apply, visit www.illinoisabroad.org or click here.

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