Palmerston North

New Zealand is probably one of the most beautiful places on Earth. That being said, I probably went to one of the least beautiful cities in New Zealand.

I chose to do my time abroad in Palmerston North where Massey University’s main campus is. It is the only vet school in New Zealand and is surrounded by farms. When I got to the town it was already dark out and I was so exhausted from the flights, four in total, I did not really pay attention to my surroundings. When I did get up the next morning I found myself not doing much because I had just travelled all day before, but I was invited to hang out with some Chinese exchange students who were staying in the same dorm complex as I. When we were walking around the campus, that was when I noticed that it was not as spectacular as I was expecting. The University of Montana’s campus is more beautiful than Massey’s.

As I was hanging with the other students, they were telling me how they had already been into town and that there was not much there. That was a little disappointing, but if it was the worst thing to happen on this experience then I was fine with it. While hanging out with these other students, I was the only native English speaker so many times they would all start speaking Chinese for a good amount of time. I understood that it was easier and more comforting for them to speak in their native language, but I did feel a bit left out. They did, however, invite me to eat dinner with them and I really appreciated it because no one else was in my dorm yet.

When I got back from dinner with the other exchange students, two of my roommates had shown up and they were both from South Dakota and unexpectedly male. It was then we realized that they mainly roomed people by where they were coming from and at orientation we realized that most of the people living in our dorm complex were from China. Even though I am in New Zealand, I was experience another culture by living with many Chinese exchange students. It was during orientation that I saw that even though Palmerston North, or Palmy, is not as beautiful as the rest of New Zealand it does have its moments. IMG_0835.JPG