Reflections – Cathy

It’s hard to believe that my semester abroad has finally come to an end and we’re back to the reality of going back to UoA for semester 2 in the Auckland winter. I feel like reflecting on the past 6 months will be full of clichés, not to mention impossible. How do you even start to sum up the most adventurous and full on 6 months of your life? But hey, let’s get right into it anyways: I’ve had the absolute time of my life, I’m met and befriended so many amazing people from all over the world and it’s been an amazing experience that I’d recommend to everyone.

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I’ve been tagged in this by my friends more times than I can count. Source

I’ve been back in Auckland for just over a week now and there’s definitely been some ups and downs. It’s been great to see family and friends again, I’ve definitely missed the feeling of being home and not living out of my backpack and drifting from place to place. It also feels surprisingly normal to be back, almost as if I never really left because things are just going on exactly the same as they were when I left. On the other hand, coming back to winter after the European summer is definitely a bit of a bummer and it’s definitely been a challenge to get back into studying after being on holiday mode for so long.

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Spent my last few days in Europe sunbathing on the beach and exploring Santorini which was absolutely unreal

Throughout the semester I did feel as if I wasn’t making the most of my time away because I wasn’t travelling or going out with people, but in hindsight I’m totally ok with the times that I’ve stayed in and just enjoyed living in a different city. Everyone has a different experience when they’re abroad, and at the end of the day it’s about enjoying your time there. Personally, I’m really happy with how I spent my semester. Being able to move to a new city where you knew pretty much no one to start with and make it your home is an amazing feeling to come away with. There’s also nothing like that feeling of wonder when you’re looking at something that you’ve only ever really dreamed of, and being able to say you ticked that off your bucket list. For me, these two things are what makes everything worth it.

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Stopped for a few days in Singapore on the way back home because why not?? I’ve always wanted to see the Gardens by the Bay and they were every bit as amazing as I anticipated!!

I think one of the beauties about doing a semester abroad is that it’s hard to get it wrong; no matter what country or university you pick, you’re bound to have a ton of adventures. You’ll never know what you’ll do, who you’ll meet or where you’ll end up, but it’s pretty much guaranteed to be a good time. I was on the fence about doing an exchange for quite a while before I decided to go for it, and I’m so glad that I did. I came back with so many more experiences and cherished memories than I ever bargained for and I’d jump at the chance to do it all over again.

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The iconic Duke of Wellington statue. Seeing this will always make me super nostalgic and glad that I ended up in this amazing city

This is the last post I’ll be doing for the 360 Blog. It’s been an amazing journey and it was super cool having the opportunity to share that on here! It’s back to uni for me now but always happy for questions and feedback ❤

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