2013 Spring External Programs Jacob Innis New Zealand

The Final Countdown

I have 19 days left in New Zealand.

I can’t explain the myriad ways in which that makes my soul wretch and squirm.  Saying that this whole experience flew by is a gross exaggeration.  You blink and five months pass.  Pardon me, I don’t mean to complain, and I wouldn’t have even had this morbid realization, if it weren’t for all of the signs in my life pointing to the end of this trip.

Classes ended yesterday.  This is more upsetting than you may think, as I really loved going to school here.  Each of my classes provided every single assignment and deadline on the first day, which meant that I was able to work completely at my own pace.  No surprises, no stress – beautiful!  My favorite part about the actual studying part was that there was little to no busy work to ensure that we were on the right track – my professors simply trusted us enough to do all of our work and reading on our own, and to consult them if any issues came up.  I’ve learned a great deal this semester due to this approach.


And with exams coming, I’ll get to spend a lot more time here – the library.

Planning out the end.  My e-mail inbox is full of messages regarding flight times, departure instructions for leaving my flat, and end-of-the-year surveys.  Not only do I have to leave, but I have to meticulously plan my exit!


I simply can’t escape it.

Goodbye Parties.  Earlier this week, my program (IFSA-Butler) had its farewell dinner.  This was particularly startling/sentimental as these were the people who I first met here, and who we’ve experienced so much with along the way.  The food was excellent, but at the same time, so bittersweet.

Farewell Dinner

Our flat complex also had a party to celebrate the end of the year.  Over one hundred people came from all around, and nothing was broken – I’m calling it a success!  Likewise, this was a melancholy affair, as I’ve spent most of my time with my awesome neighbors, and in having this party we were acknowledging that we would all leave each other soon.  Yesterday the first of our kin left.


I hope that I’m not coming off as ungrateful here.  I have appreciated each and everyday here, through the snow, to missing our flight at the conclusion of Easter break.  It has all been a part of the overall experience which I feel has changed me and made me more aware of the world and the other people who live in it.  I love this country in its entirety, for its triumphs and flaws, and I have been able to enjoy so much of what it has to offer.  Not everyone is fortunate enough to go to college, and certainly far fewer find themselves in a position to travel the world as they study.  I am one of those very privileged few and I am so sincerely thankful and feel lucky in the purest sense of the word.  But, please New Zealand – can’t I stay just a few more months?

With this all being said, I DO have 19 days left here, and I’m certainly not going to waste a second.  Sam and I enjoyed a lovely evening last night in an Italian restaurant, which are a very rare thing to find here.  We’re heading off to go see penguins and maybe some albatross on the beach today.  I hope all is well with you.

Take care,


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