My Study Abroad Experience: Isabella Bazante

Where and when did you study abroad/off-campus?   

Hi! I’m Isabella, a rising senior at Questrom. I studied abroad in Auckland, New Zealand for my Spring semester of Junior year.

What did you do for your internship and what kinds of projects were you assigned (if you had one)?

I was a part of the Management Internship Program, which involved taking a total of 3 classes and having an internship. The first couple of months, I took the required BU New Zealand Culture class along with a Marketing class at the University of Auckland. Afterwards, I took another Marketing class and had an internship at Loop Media NZ. Loop is an entertainment producer and an agent for artists and public figures. Some of my tasks included arranging accommodation and flights, filing legal documents, and booking venues. I also coordinated and collaborated with artists, venues, and event sponsors through emails and phone calls to organize the logistics for events.

What surprised you most about your time abroad/off-campus?

I was surprised by the big music culture there is in New Zealand. Before traveling to New Zealand, I didn’t look into what kind of music was typical there. I focused more on the nature and travel destinations in my pre-research. Yet, working at Loop exposed me to a lot of music events and allowed me to see another element of the Kiwi culture. Talk to the coordinators, your classmates, boss and co-workers to find out what music events are going on. Facebook is also a good way to discover upcoming events.

What are two things you learned from your time abroad/off-campus that you may not have learned otherwise?

One of the main things I learned while abroad was how to plan trips. In order to have a successful, worry-free trip, thorough planning is key. This includes things like renting a car, booking hostels, and researching activities. (Tip: it’s usually cheaper to book directly through the hostel’s website or by calling them, rather than using general booking websites).

What was the hardest part of your experience?

One of the difficulties for me was the time difference, since there’s a big time difference between the East Coast and Auckland. I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to talk to my friends and family as much as I wanted. But this was solved by planning ahead by deciding on times and dates that worked best for us to talk on the phone (via Whatsapp) or video call (Whatsapp, Facetime, Skype).

Are there any hidden gems that your classmates should check out?

Hidden gems: Lake Marian in the South Island; Raglan in the North Island; Cable Bay Vineyard in Waiheke (not so hidden); New Chums Beach on the Coromandel.

What are your best tips for those planning to study where you did?

Auckland Tips: Explore surrounding neighborhoods (Ponsonby, Parnell, etc). Go to an All Blacks game (sign up to their email list so that you get notifications). Try surfing. Take advantage of the weekends to travel, even if you just do day trips. If you go to Milford Sound, the earliest Jucy Cruise is a good price and includes breakfast. Look up free or cheap stuff on campus – example: there’s $5 vegetarian food on Wednesdays organized by The Veda Club.

General Tips: Before going abroad, look up the places you want to visit while you’re there. Reach out to anyone you know who has been to your abroad destination (they’ll probably be glad to help). Don’t over pack. Go to class! It’s a good way to meet locals, especially if you’re at a local campus. Try to join clubs on campus. Don’t spend your money on unnecessary things – traveling is better J Walk as much as possible. Talk to store clerks, Uber drivers, professors, classmates.