Snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Engaging with Fijian kava ceremonies. Exploring the startling beauty of New Zealand's Milford Sound. Stepping to the edge of the world in Antarctica. This is why many alumni call our programs the single most influential experience of their university careers.
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Studying abroad is a major, life-changing opportunity, but endless questions exist in the process of heading overseas. Understand the benefits of studying abroad with us, prepare for your international experience, and ensure your dream becomes a reality.
January 6th, 2017
Berkley Svingen, the University of Montana’s Sustainability in New Zealand and Australia student blogger, writes:
Kia Ora, my name is Berkley!
I’m delighted to take you along my journey abroad the next four weeks as I travel across the North and South Islands of New Zealand and the coast of Australia. Together we will swim with dolphins in their natural habitat, summit peaks, kayak with the creatures of the sea, and get to know a couple Kiwis! First, I want to give you a little history about me to provide you with an understanding of my lens of analysis as we move forward, and to establish how my past experiences influence my perceptions of this life adventure.
I graduated high school with 63 classmates in a small north eastern Montana town just a jaunt from the Canadian border. In 2012, I packed my Jeep and headed west where I met the third love of my life, a hippie-esque community tucked in the Rocky Mountains of western Montana, Missoula. Two years into my college education, with a declared double major of Business Management and Environmental Studies, I changed directions and will now graduate in the spring with a bachelors in Business Management and Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies. When I’m not camped out on the fifth floor of the library you can find me with a pair of skates strapped to my feet playing ice hockey, the second love of my life, or chasing trail with my white boxer Penelope, the first love of my life. Penelope may just be the best thing that has ever happened to me. Grooving through life side-by-side the past six years, Nel has taught me discipline, commitment, patience, and every day is a reminder of the ways in which selfless love pays off. Penelope is my pride and joy, and I quantify happiness by the number of days she and I spend in the great outdoors.
Arriving in New Zealand having prior academic exposure to sustainable business techniques within the classroom, I’m enthusiastic about being able to apply these concepts in the field for the first time. Additionally, my time abroad will further develop my cultural intelligence and ability to successfully manage cross-cultural settings, which will provide a benefit in our ever diversifying, globalized world. While the intent and focus of my time abroad is to maximize my understanding of sustainable business and eco-tourism, above all other things I’m most excited for the self-awareness I will gain while somewhere unfamiliar. Specifically, I hope to gain a more authentic understanding of who I am through the people I meet along the way, for it is the people already in my life who have made this amazing opportunity possible. I am in debt to my mother, father, boyfriend, and colleagues for their unwavering support and encouragement.
Comment below and share what you hope to gain personally and academically while studying abroad. If you’ve studied abroad previously, share one or two of your professional and personal achievements for it is a great way to develop a sense of community, and provides insight to those who follow in your footsteps.