If you’re thinking of studying abroad, I cannot highly enough recommend doing so. My cousin graduated from BU 3 years ago and told me that his biggest regret in college was not studying abroad. I took the hint and headed to New Zealand for 6 months.
Internship: SIMTICS is a very small company and I worked virtually, but physically operated out of the BizDojo, which is a co-working space for entrepreneurs, designers, developers, videographers, and tons of other creatives. It was a really great environment for collaboration, as people would constantly ask each other for feedback on projects, and often times these conversations would turn into them working with each other on something. I met a lot of really interesting people working on cool projects.
For the internship, I did a lot of research on schools in the United States. New Zealand is a relatively small country, and the USA represents a huge market for companies producing virtual goods and services. I helped build out SIMTICS’ database of potential customers, but also got to give a lot of marketing feedback and advice for the company. I loved sitting in on monthly meetings (it was just the four of us), and getting to share my honest feedback and perspective on the company’s efforts. Experiencing decision-making and feedback in real time in an environment like that is something I really learned from. I’m really interested in entrepreneurship and it was great to gain the perspective of a start-up company on the rise.
Perspective: I met a lot of really down-to-earth classmates, as the Auckland Program had me studying at the University of Auckland. It was interesting to learn in a non-BU and non-American schooling environment. Being there for multiple months really allowed me to soak in the local culture. New Zealand is just a sliver of the world, but having met so many great people there really shows me there are amazing people all over the world. Going to another country allows you to connect with like-minded people that you had NO idea even existed.
Travel: This is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, and we were fortunate to have so much free time to explore it. The highlight for me was a 10-day car tour through the South Island, where we slept in tents each night and hiked and explored in the day. The scenery was mind-blowing, and I got to know my fellow abroaders a lot better in such an environment. The climate change throughout different parts of the country is incredible in New Zealand. The last week in New Zealand, my family came to visit and we went skiing in perfect snow. Exploring both the North and South islands are essential.
I was really happy with my internship and continue to do work with the company. So incredibly satisfied with my Study Abroad experience, I can’t see why someone wouldn’t take the jump. Trust me, it’s worth it.