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Study Abroad and Domestic Study Away

Notes from Abroad: Rachel in New Zealand

Rachel Domijancic ’18 is a double major in Psychology and Neuroscience studying in Albany, New Zealand.

Coming to New Zealand has been a completely new experience for me. Prior to this trip, I had never left the country before. Adjusting to life in a new country has been a lot easier than I expected it to be. This is because New Zealand and U.S. culture are very similar. However, there are some differences that I have noticed. One of the main differences I have noticed is that Kiwi students do not usually participate in class. When a professor asks a question, most students stay quiet and do not raise their hands to answer. In lectures in New Zealand, I am considered to be a very engaged student because I will answer an occasional question. However in the U.S., I tend to be seen as a quiet student because I do not answer very many questions. I love the teaching style in New Zealand. The focus is on independent study of the material and a total of four assignments instead of constant assignments that only require you to memorize the material for a short period of time. Something that I wish I were better prepared for before coming to New Zealand is being able to walk up steep hills. I knew that there were going to be more mountains and such when coming to New Zealand, but I had no idea that even walking to the grocery store was going to be a hike. I have definitely questioned my physical fitness. All in all, I am very grateful to have this opportunity.


The generous donation from Ms. McGowan has made it easier for me to focus on my studies and engaging with another culture rather than worrying about funding my trip abroad.