Samantha Dean

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Where I Went: Dunedin, New Zealand
When I Went: Fall 2012
Program: Arcadia University – College of Global Studies

Hi! My name is Samantha Dean and I’m a junior Mathematics-Economics bridge major here at Rhodes. This past semester I traveled to the South island of New Zealand to study at the University of Otago. With the help of the Arcadia University staff, I, along with a group of about 30 other American students, ventured to the opposite side of the world in effort to gain some perspective of the kiwi lifestyle.

During my six months there, I lived in a co-ed flat with 3 other students, one of them a native from New Zealand, and attended classes four days a week. On my weekends, I generally explored and traveled with other international students to various “hot spots”. Since I lived with a local, though, I was often taken to secluded sites that were more breath taking than those listed on a tourist’s map. I learned heaps about the Māori culture, as my program had multiple excursions dedicated to native traditions (we were taught how to prepare local cuisine and also visited a Māori village), which is one of the things I cherish most about my trip.

While abroad, I met a multitude of young adults my age from every corner of the globe who taught me more than I can ever put into words. I visited legendary attractions (the steepest street in the world, Lord of the Rings set locations, and the Cadbury factory), hiked some remarkable tracks, (dubbed New Zealand’s “Great Walks”), and even went to my first rugby game. Being placed in a setting like this that was so far away from home really drove me to the edge of my comfort zone, but also forced me to push myself intellectually, emotionally, socially, and culturally. As I adjusted to the accents, traditions, and pace of life, I was in what I must describe as my own version of heaven. I truly believe that everyone and anyone should study abroad if they’re interested in the slightest. It is indescribable and unbelievable.

Want to set up a meeting with Samantha? Contact her here!