Where in the World is Miami Wednesday: New Zealand

Liz holds her hand so that it looks like she is touching a distant mountaintop

In this week's Where in the World is Miami Wednesday, we meet Liz Jonas, a senior International Studies and Public Health: Epidemiology major with a minor in French who studied abroad in Wellington, New Zealand during Fall 2018. At Miami, Liz is involved in Club Quidditch and the International Student Advisory Council, and has served as an International Peer Orientation Leader (iPOL).

What did you study in your program?

I studied a variety of subjects: pathology, sociology, art history and health psychology.

Why did you choose your study abroad program?

Liz poses in front of a house in Hobbiton

I chose it for a few reasons. I had to take science classes so the country had to teach in English. I am from a high financial need family so I never would have had the chance to go to New Zealand without scholarship. I am a huge fan of Lord of the Rings. I love the outdoors, so I made studying in a beautiful and outdoor-accessible location a priority.

What were the coolest places you visited on your program?

Some of the coolest places I visited were Milford Sound, Queenstown, Hobbiton Movie Set, Key Summit, Tongariro National Park, and several Maori Maraes.

What was your favorite part of your program?

Liz and friends enjoying coffee

My favorite part was how accepting, inviting and kind the country was. New Zealand is so diverse and everyone is welcoming regardless of your situation be it immigrant, refugee or study away student. But also, the coffee was to die for.

How has the study abroad experience changed you so far?

I am now set on my future education and career path thanks to a class I took while studying in Wellington. I have a much more global and empathetic perspective when looking at world events and I am so grateful to break that 'American mindset' bubble I grew up with living in a rural town in Ohio. I have made friends with people from around the globe and I stay connected with them and above all, I had the experiences of a lifetime- climbing mountains, touring fiords, sleeping under infinite stars, walking on set of the Lord of the Rings... it was truly like being in my own movie!

Where in the World is Miami Wednesday is a news article series that features Miami students studying abroad/away and international students. Catch us next week as we continue to travel around the world to feature the amazing opportunities that Miami students are taking and the experiences our alumni have had since graduating!

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