Study Abroad

Hana Peoples

Hana Peoples 1

Name: Hana Peoples

Major: Communication

Year: Senior

Study Abroad program name: Linguistics South Africa (Now Honors South Africa) and University of Auckland Direct Exchange

Term of the program: Early Fall 2013 and Spring Semester 2015

Why did you decide to study abroad? I decided to study abroad because I was always yearning to challenge myself beyond the traditional classroom setting. I knew before attending UW that I wanted to study abroad. There are so many programs around the world, places that I never imagined I thought I would be able to go to. I knew that when I chose a program, I wanted to challenge myself by choosing destination that I is a bit harder to get to, if not through a study abroad office. I chose South Africa and New Zealand, not only because of their distance away from Seattle, but also because of their complex and diverse histories in terms of race and identity, topics I study at the UW.

What were your expectations going into the program? Hana Peoples 2

South Africa: I really had no real expectations. I had read articles and watched films about South Africa and its history but I knew that you can only learn so much before you actually visit a country. I told myself to be open to new people, ideas, and histories that may be unfamiliar to me. Because of this, I believe I gained so much, made new friendships with UW students and with students in South Africa.

New Zealand: I was expecting it to be much easier in terms of planning trips and meeting new people. For exchanges, you have to make a lot of effort to make most of each day in the country. Five months goes by fast, so I had to make a calendar of where I wanted to visit in New Zealand and finding others to travel with me. This challenged me to put myself out there, make new friends, and also being open to trying things on my own.

What about your experience was most surprising to you?The amount of independence you gain when yo u study abroad, especially through an exchange. I think matured more in 5 months than I ever imagined. I learned how to budget monthly expenses, become a better cook, and adapt to new situations and people. I also traveled solo twice while in New Zealand, and that empowered me to plan more trips in the future on my own!

What was your favorite food/dish while you were abroad? 

South Africa: Roobios Tea lattes and Bunny Chow (Curry served inside a bread bowl)

New Zealand: Butter Chicken Pie

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