And how are things in Auckland?

The option to go to New Zealand and do an internship on geothermal energy, immediately triggered my interest. The arrangements were made well in time and during the summer break I didn’t think about it often. It was not until September and my trip almost started that I realized that I was really going to the other side of the world for three months on my own.

by
photo Privé-archief Mart Baelemans

The first thing that surprised me when I arrived in Auckland was the friendly and relaxed attitude of the Kiwi’s (how people in New Zealand like to call themselves). Just a couple of hours after I arrived in my apartment a roommate already showed me around in the city. At the University of Auckland this friendly and relaxed atmosphere was also present, making me feel comfortable very easily.

 

I did of course not choose to go to New Zealand to just live in a city. The traffic in Auckland can be a struggle but as soon as you manage to get out of the city you really start realizing why so many people come to New Zealand to travel. The country has a lot of beautiful natural reserves which are nice hiking places, stunning beaches (without the many shops and a crowd of tourists) and plenty of pretty lakes.

The subject of my internship was geothermal energy. New Zealand is one of the few countries in which this is present all over the place because of the high volcanic activity in the region. To see the many volcanos, geysers and hot pools with my own eyes was an extremely impressive experience.

When my internship was almost finished I was surprised by how much I started appreciating New Zealand and the fact that I was going to miss this place.

I want to conclude this short piece on my abroad experience with the following for anyone who reads this and is thinking about going abroad but is doubting whether or not he/she can do it: Just go for it, there are always people who can (and want to!) help you and you will learn a lot from the experience.

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