12 August 2018

Why you should study abroad at least once in your lifetime

Florenz Fang
Student from Shanghai

Florenz explains why you should study abroad at least once in your lifetime. I came here after working for one year in a company in Shanghai. At that time, I was like most university graduates: working from nine to five and from time to time pondering one question, WHAT NOW?

Yes, I graduated. Yes, I got a job. Yes, I am used to the working routine. But it seemed like my life would continue like that forever after the age of 22. “NO”. I made my decision to change something about it, I wanted an adventure. I wanted to experience something I had never experienced before. I went to New Zealand.

I had a little knowledge of New Zealand as a country before my arrival. Most of my stereotypical impression of a “western” country came from American and British TV series and movies. After some time in New Zealand, I realised Kiwis are into rugby and cricket, not football or basketball; hot dogs are not that prevalent here, instead people have a genuine passion for warm pies; not everyone has a religious belief, people choose whatever they want to believe and live harmoniously with each other; no matter where you are from, if you treat people with respect, you will have their respect. In a short time, I learned how a totally different society and culture functions and prospers on the other side of the planet.

Experience New Zealand culture

Living here, I learned to be independent thousands of miles away from home knowing nobody will come and do my dirty laundry after a tiring day on a field trip. I learned to overcome obstacles that I never imagined I could defeat and learned to enjoy life no matter what. The feelings, the tears and laughter, the memories and experience, are all real and sincere.

Fireworks display

I will never regret my choice of coming to New Zealand. Even though it is not perfect, I know I have learned so many valuable things other than textbook knowledge. I have opened my eyes, mind and arms, I have embraced different cultures and met people from various ethnic backgrounds. And last but not least, I have realised my goal of becoming a more mature, more responsible and more open-minded person. To that, I would like to say: thank you, New Zealand. Kia ora, Aotearoa.

Friends in New Zealand
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About the contributors
Florenz Fang
Student from Shanghai