Personal Development Abroad

Occupational Therapy major Meghan Matje ’20 considers herself a writer, adventurer and geek. She had the opportunity to study abroad in Dunedin, New Zealand. This opportunity taught her valuable life lessons.

New Zealand is the filming location of Lord of the Rings. These movies were an important part of Meghan’s life growing up and taught her valuable lessons. While in New Zealand, she was able to visit filming locations, including riding a horse through Isengard. Besides experiencing real life Middle Earth, Meghan had the chance to experience all of New Zealand’s natural views.

New Zealand is an environmentally-conscientious country and Meghan’s time in New Zealand taught her new, conscientious habits. Being alone taught Meghan about personal development. She became more independent and learned to live a healthy lifestyle. This includes learning how to cook.

Meghan also overcame struggles in the classroom. As someone hearing impaired, she struggled to watch the movies shown without subtitles and took additional steps to make sure she understood what was happening in class. In addition, she had difficulty understanding the New Zealand accent. The biggest lesson learned was to adapt and accept the circumstances.

As an OT major, she has a variety of creative hobbies. New Zealand gave her the time to rediscover her hobbies and taught her other ways to combat homesickness.

For Meghan, studying abroad was a journey which included being in a new environment, trying new things, and adapting to this new lifestyle. It’s up to the individual to take these lessons home, which Meghan plans to do.

*Click on the hyperlinks above to learn more about the Dunedin, New Zealand program and to read Meghan’s original blog published by BCA Study Abroad on November 28, 2018.

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