Believe you can and you're halfway there
Studying abroad always sounded like this amazing thing that people do but is nearly impossible to attain. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Being able to study in New Zealand has been my dream come true but a year ago I had no idea I would ever be able to accomplish this dream.
Applying for a scholarship
Whenever I asked students in my home university if they want to study abroad, the pattern of the answers was always the same: It is too expensive, it is too much paperwork, I will not be able to finish my studies in time… And less than a year ago I thought the same, until I came across the Dream NEW Scholarship.
Receiving the Scholarship really felt like a miracle for me. My idea of living and studying in one of the most amazing countries in the world actually turned into a plan. The next steps involved organizing my accommodation, the visa and my work. The costs of living and traveling in New Zealand are quite high but that did not stop me from thinking that it is possible. I simply applied for a part-time job in a hostel where I worked for accommodation, so I was able to live in New Zealand for five months without paying any rent. This allowed me to spend my money on traveling and activities and even more importantly it gave me the opportunity to work with a great team of Kiwis and to get to know travellers from all over the world daily!
Balancing my studies, my work and activities with amazing people I met during my semester has been a challenge that really contributed to my personal growth. I was inspired and learned something new in my seminars every day, I got to know Kiwis as well as other travelers and international students, I travelled the country, went on hikes, joined clubs at university and had the time of my life. The five months has passed incredibly fast but felt like a lifetime at the same time!
Adapt and make friends
Studying abroad takes some adapting to, but knowing that you can make friends all over the world and find places that you can call home anywhere is such a valuable skill. Although organizing everything may seem daunting in the beginning, it is all worth it and easier than I ever thought!
Opening up to new possibilities, meeting people and getting out of my comfort zone by questioning my own beliefs has been a life-changing experience. I am thankful that I took advantage of every opportunity and that I allowed myself to think big and dream of the “impossible”!
About the contributors
Laura Schnelle, from Germany, is studying at the University of Canterbury (UC) due to her desire to visit the South Island of New Zealand. Laura is from Otto-von-Guericke University in Magdeburg, Germany, where she majors in education and has future plans of becoming a health educator. Laura was the recipient of Education New Zealand's Dream NEW Scholarship. *Views expressed are the blogger's own