'Whether it is in the classroom or travelling around the countryside, there is always so much to enjoy and learn...'
Study Abroad student
Certificate of Proficiency Engineering
As a student majoring in Water Resources at her home university, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Maggie could not pass up the opportunity to study in New Zealand.
'I chose to study abroad in New Zealand so I could see this great country as well as learn about its diverse and interesting natural systems,' she says.
Maggie's career goal is to contribute to the protection of water resources throughout the world.
'At this moment, I believe that will be through the water policy side of matters. I plan to attend graduate school to learn what the greatest needs are, and gain more skills to work on solving the problem.'
Her interest in conservation issues led her to take the ARTS 395 Internship course, working on a Food Resilience Network project with the Belfast Food Forest in Christchurch.
'The objective of this food forest is to provide free fruit for residents and preserve New Zealand heritage species,' explains Maggie. 'My partner and I surveyed the soil types in the plot, measured the quality of the water and researched the heritage plant varieties. One thing I enjoyed about the internship is that it allowed me to focus on nature. As a water resource major, I got to use my current skills and develop some new ones. Second, I truly enjoyed seeing how the Food Resilience Network plan meets a number of needs in the community, and it can only grow from there.'
Maggie says the internships on offer at UC have many benefits, with out-of-the-box thinking being the biggest.
'Instead of being like other classes where information is presented to you, you learn the lessons yourself. There is no syllabus or instructor shaping what you do. Mistakes are a given, but they provide the best learning experience. The course is run in a manner that accepts mistakes and triumphs equally. It also allows you to see New Zealand from a kiwi's perspective, not just a student's or tourist's.' Maggie encourages other students to try a Study Abroad programme in New Zealand.
'The transition to a semester at UC was easy to coordinate and I've taken numerous classes that will directly benefit my major. The academic system here is simple and very friendly. I have gone in to see instructors about this or that and they are always happy to help,' she says.
'Every aspect of New Zealand has a certain perspective ingrained into it that allows a relaxed yet educational experience. Whether it is in the classroom or travelling around the countryside, there is always so much to enjoy and learn.'