We use cookies to ensure we give you the best experience of our website. By accepting, you agree to the use of cookies as described in our privacy policy.

blog hero things weve learnt

Learning About Ourselves While Studying Abroad

Students share what they’ve learned about themselves while studying in New Zealand.

Live a life of no expectations

I think the number one lesson I learned while studying abroad is to live a life of no expectations.

Before studying abroad, I constantly had expectations about how different events would play out. Having constant expectations lead to feeling disappointed if things didn’t go my way.

Studying abroad taught me the beauty of the unexpected. Sometimes things won’t go your way, and that’s completely fine. It’s all about being thankful for what you have in the current moment.

Liz Stein is a US study abroad student studying speech therapy at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch

Live a balanced life

One of the most important things I learned about myself while studying abroad was how to live a balanced life.

I delved headfirst into my academics (not merely to get a good grade, but more importantly, to learn about our complicated world and become a more knowledgeable citizen). I discovered that I love philosophy, which actually integrates seamlessly into neuroscience—my major.

At the same time, I built meaningful relationships, learned to rock climb, became confident in my backcountry hiking skills, and went away most weekends on adventures with my friends.

When I return to my university in the US, I hope to carry forward this balance.

Taylor Weckstein is a US study abroad student studying psychology and neuroscience at the University of Otago in Dunedin

Independence and cultural diversity

I’ve learned to be independent; I know I can look after myself. Plus I understand many different cultures because I have studied with students from all over the world.

I have learned many things and had many experiences that I would not have had in Thailand. For example, I’ve learned how to catch a bus or walk to places (Thailand is very hot with bad traffic) and I now enjoy many different types of food.

I am more confident about making my own decisions about my future. Some of that is because of studying in New Zealand but some is also due to the fact that I am two years older than when I first arrived here!

Bai Yok is a Thai student at high school in Dunedin

Liz Stein

By ENZ Kiwi Ambassadors

Updated 3 years ago

Liz Stein (pictured) and Taylor Weckstein are both study abroad students from the United States. Bai Yok is a high school student from Thailand.

Follow our Kiwi Ambassadors on Instagram: @studyinnewzealand

*Views expressed are the blogger's own


Share this article

Keep in touch. Don't miss out on the latest posts.

Subscribe to Blog

Stay in touch

For personalised tips and tools for studying in New Zealand.

Please complete all of the fields below.

Please enter a valid email address.

Please enter a first name.

Please enter a last name.

Please select a country.

Please select a valid date (MM/YYYY).

this includes the existence, status and outcome of any visa application I submit, for use in accordance with, and for the purposes set out in, Education New Zealand’s Privacy Policy which I have read and understood. The results Education New Zealand receives may also include visa decisions pre/post the student visa application (such as a work visa post study). This will enable us to provide a more personalised digital experience and undertake research and analytical studies associated with our functions.

You can unsubscribe at any time By submitting this form I agree to Education New Zealand Privacy Policy, and to receive updates and marketing communications about their services, promotions, special offers, new and events.

Thanks for subscribing

Tohu icon

Kia ora! Get answers to your questions about studying in New Zealand

Learn More