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From Rocky Top to Mountain Tops in New Zealand; A CEHHS Graduate Student’s Travel Abroad Adventure

College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences graduate student, Madison Merrifield, is on an adventure this summer.  Madison, enrolled in our College Student Personnel Program through the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, is completing an internship at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand.  Enjoy Madison’s story from her perspective as she learns and grows through her adventures.

“It’s amazing how connected we all are in this great big world. This is just one of the many lessons I’ve been learning while completing an internship at the University of Canterbury (UC) in Christchurch, New Zealand this summer. As one of only eight universities in the country, UC is known for its student experience, which is why I wanted to come learn from the support staff who work to build that great experience every day. Between meetings with almost every student service office on campus to climbing mountains on the weekends, this trip has grown me both professionally and personally.

Madison Merrifield at University of Canterbury, New Zealand during study abroad internshipI have also had the chance to practice my Volunteer Spirit abroad, saying yes to as many service opportunities that I can during my time here. A couple weeks ago, I was able to volunteer at a local urban farm, Cultivate, and see first-hand how urban youth are encouraged and supported to make a difference in their community. And this past weekend, I toured the University of Sydney  to see how they are building their student experience to support well being on campus.

What are my biggest takeaways thus far? To take chances; say yes to adventure, even if it seems scary. To not doubt my ability to contribute. To follow the path I believe is best for me, even if it is little-traveled. I came to UTK to learn and grow; by way of New Zealand, I am doing just that.”

You can find information about study abroad opportunities through our Study Abroad, Center of International Education office.