Where To StudyNew ZealandSemester’s Closing

Semester’s Closing

Jocelyn Pietro
Jocelyn Pietro
Jocelyn Pietro is on exchange at Otago University from her home school of Elon University in North Carolina, USA. Back home she studies Public Health and she also has specific interests in Human Services and Interreligious Studies. While at Otago, Jocelyn hopes to immerse herself in studies as well as adventure outside of her comfort zone. She is very excited to share her exchange experience with people near and far as she continues to travel around New Zealand.

The semester is now coming to an end and while it is a time to rejoice at the thought of being done with finals, it is also quite a stressful time. There are so many different emotions surrounding returning to my home country.

While I cannot wait to get back and give my family and friends a nice big hug, I can only be reminded of the nice big hug I am going to have to give to my Dunedin family in honour of saying goodbye and thank you for a great semester.

Saying goodbye to New Zealand

Going abroad, students pack up a suitcase and head to an unknown destination knowing they will at some point return to their home and family. When you are going back to your “home” country it is difficult to say the same about your home in Dunedin.

People tend to make empty promises of seeing each other again, but due to distance, these plans will likely be challenging. I can speak to the truths of this considering my experience with my incredible European flatmates and best friends.

International students at Cliffs of MoherIn about a weeks time when I embark on my journey home, I will not know the next time I will see this new family of mine or if I’ll ever be back in the city that has become my new home. I will always carry the memories of the travels, the laughs with my friends, and the warmth of the Kiwi people’s hearts.

Going back home

There is something about the New Zealand atmosphere that just makes you want to return and hike some mountains, drink some coffee, and say “cheers”.


Our trip to New ZealandThis semester has been an experience that has taught me to slow down and enjoy the little moments life throws our way. At home, there is so much involvement at a school that you accumulate over your time at university. Being away for a semester does not allow the level of in-depth involvement that being at a school for two plus years allows.

This being said, cooking dinners, schoolwork, and planning your next weekend trip to a beautiful New Zealand landscape easily become the only “real” responsibilities.


Road trip in New ZealandMy goal is to go back and implore this mindset into the busy life that my university back home has awaiting my return.  While this may be more easily said than done, I am very passionate about the way in which this is implemented throughout Kiwi culture. That being said, I’ll make one more empty promise, New Zealand, I will be back (hopefully not because I need to re-sit my exams).

%d bloggers like this: