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Morning Tea with Taylor Student of the Month Things you gotta do in NZ 48 Hours in Southland

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From the Editor

big thanks to Daniel Solway (Otago), Michael Brown (Massey Albany), Cole Wyatt (Auckland), and Chelsea Gowton (Canterbury) who are this semesters student bloggers. You can access their blogs through I love reading what the bloggers are writing, because Im always interesting in finding out what students are getting up to throughout the semester.


ia ora everyone! I hope youve all settled into your flats and cities, and are enjoying your classes.

glory in the Iconic Images Challenge, so keep on snapping away and enter your pics!

his time its Taylor Smith (Canterbury) and Tara Clune (Otago) stopping for a cuppa in our Morning Tea slot; Kina Viola takes us underground in 48 Hours; Dylan Thomas (Canterbury) Fills in the Blanks; and your fellow students highlight their top picks of things to do in NZ.

his newsletter we decided to take that further and find out what more of you have been up to so far, and so we have pieces written by students from around New Zealand. Well be releasing our second (and last) newsletter of the semester in around a month, so make sure you keep in touch with your SSC about what youre doing and seeing maybe youll see yourself in the next newsletter!


ere always on the lookout for new ideas for the programme, or ways we can do things better. If you do have any feedback, you should complete the surveys that are sent to you from our US office. You can also email me or your SSC with any feedback or ideas you have. We want to make the programme the best for the students so tell us what you think!

e only had three entries for the Student of the Month contest, and you will be able to vote for the winner on Facebook . Hopefully next time well have more entries for this, because you do get PRIZES and GLORY. Winners also get prizes and

s always, make sure you like us on Facebook (, follow us on Twitter (@StudyAbroad_NZ), and read our blog ( Until next time, study hard and get out there!

Amy Rutherford, Editor

IFSA-Butler NZ PO Box 1461, Wellington Website: Email: Phone: (04) 471-0145

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Morning Tea / Iconic Images Challenge 48 Hours in Southland

Morning Tea

Student of the Month

Things You Gotta Do in NZ / Fill in the Blanks

The IFSA-Butler NZ Office is working to reduce our environmental impact. Please pass this publication on or recycle when you have finished enjoying its contents.

Morning Tea
Kylie Fitzgerald shoots the breeze with keen outdoorsman Taylor Smith about road trips, ultimate frisbee, and getting the most out of life in Quake City.

KF: So first of all tell us where

youre from.

TS: I grew up in Massachusetts on Marthas Vineyard, and go to Oregon State. KF: So what made you decide to come to NZ? TS: Its the quintessential outdoor location for me. I had a friend who came here the year before and did pretty much everything; he bungyjumped, he tramped and it made me really jealous, so I had NZ on my hit-list from the start. Its a beautiful place and Im a geography major so theres no better place to come really. Im a big outdoors guy. KF: So why Canterbury? TS: I really wanted to see the South Island in particular, so Canterbury was an easy choice. Christchurch is the second largest city and its right in the middle of the island. Its really easy to get to the mountains and right on the coast. KF: Are you staying for a whole

I joined the uni club. Ive done some walks in the Port Hills and quad-biking in Hanmer Springs. It was very, very fun and a beautiful place.

KF: What are your goals for your

time here?

Its a very easy place to get around and out of town.

here had any major impact on your stay?

TS: Id love to make it to the mountains to go snowboarding, which I havent done yet. I also want to do one of the Great Walks in summer and bungy jumping. Its something I had my sights on before I came here. I heard that Nevis is cool, but itll certainly be in Queenstown.
Christchurch and Canterbury University?

KF: Have the earthquakes

KF: How are you finding

TS: Its great. Theres a really big club atmosphere here which is really nice. Most people you talk to are in some kind of uni club. Im in the Ultimate Frisbee club and also the climbing club.
Ultimate is great. We are going to compete with some Otago students. Theyre going to send a team up here mid-September, and we have a tournament in Hanmer Springs. Theyve rented out two houses and its going to be a big, social tournament, so I definitely recommend joining as many clubs as possible.

TS: They havent had any major impact, but a lot of the maps of the city are yet to be updated so what you read online isnt always whats there. You have to ask around. Im taking the Rebuilding Christchurch paper at university and were yet to do some earthquake recovery volunteer work, so I know that the whole experience of being around the aftermath of the earthquake will have a significant impact on me as a person.
decision to come here?

KF: But it didnt impact your

TS: Yes, a whole year. I knew Id want to stay longer. If theres one thing Ive heard from people that have gone that route before, its that they dont ever want to leave. And coming in Semester 2 and having the summer break will definitely give me a chance to really explore. KF: So what have you been up to so far? TS: I took a little trip up to Nelson this past weekend. Big road trip. Really cool experience driving on the left-hand side of the road, thats for sure. Ive done some rock-climbing;

KF: So whats your advice for

anyone visiting Christchurch?

TS: No, it didnt. You know a lot of people, especially in the plane, were like Why are you going to Christchurch? And its like Well, why not?, especially given my major. It is a unique opportunity to come in and see the resilience of the city and see how people have coped with such a major disaster, especially, not just one earthquake, but two. And to see the response from that; its really neat.

TS: Definitely take in all of the city and the red-zone. Experience all that, but go beyond Christchurch. See the Port Hills, the beaches and go up to the mountains at some point.

Morning Tea
Tara Clune grabs her drink of choice chai latte with extra cinnamon for a chat with SSC Sian Munro about sequinned unitards, her new favourite city, and her Dads raspberry pie.
what do you study?

Cape Reinga is on Taras Top Five trip list.

SM: Where are you from and T C: Im from New York. I study
Math-Computer Science.

semester break?

SM: How did you spend your T C: I went on a road trip around

SM: Why did you choose Otago? T C: I wanted to go somewhere

that had a strong college town/ campus vibe. My home university is in the middle of New York City and sometimes lacks that community feel. I felt that it would be a nice change of pace. I also really wanted to be in the South Island.

semester already, so what one university-related tip would you give students who have recently arrived?

SM: You have been here for a

the North Island: up the East coast (going caving in Waitomo), around Coromandel Peninsula (best seafood ever), stopped in Auckland to visit friends, up to Cape Reinga, almost lost the car at 90-Mile Beach, met up with more friends in Tauranga, went down through Rotorua and Tongariro (passing through Hobbiton and checking out the hot springs), and then ended up in Wellington for a few nights.

with Butler last semester for an overnight cruise, cant wait to go back this semester. Cape Reinga really hard to get to, but definitely worth it if you have the chance!

destinations or activities you have experienced so far?

SM: What are the top five

SM: What is the strangest thing you have seen or heard in New Zealand? T C: I went to a Flight of the Conchords concert while I was in Wellington. At one point they changed into matching sequin unitards with scarves and capes. It was strange in the best, most hilarious way possible.
most from home?

T C: Make the most of your time during the week. A lot of people like to go on trips on the weekend, and they can often be quite spontaneous. You dont want to miss out because you spent Monday to Friday watching TV, and then left your paper to the last minute.

T C: (In no particular order):

Paradise National Park I went with the tramping club the first weekend I was here, still one of the coolest things Ive done. Abel Tasman We did the entire Abel Tasman Coastal track over our mid-semester break, UNREAL. Wellington My new favorite city on the planet. Fiordland Went

SM: What food do you miss the

Iconic Images Challenge Due 1 October 2012

Now that youve been in this beautiful land for half a semester, there will probably be some scenes, people or objects that are etched in your mind as being typically Kiwi and memorable. So why not capture them on film and enter them in our world famous Iconic Images Challenge! You can enter up to 10 images, and well be asking you to send them to us via Dropbox. Your SSCs will send you details on how to submit your photos. Great prizes will be on offer , including Kathmandu vouchers, and a variety of random spot prizes. Well print the winners and stand out entries in your next newsletter. So why not get snapping!

T C: My dads homemade raspberry pie. My fave NZ food is Fush and chups!

SM: What new social activities have you been introduced to? T C: One of my flat-mates slacklines in the park, so that has been a fun new activity. Ive also been really enjoying quiz nights at the local bars. SM: What one thing from NZ
would you most like to take home with you?

T C: The landscape and scenery is definitely my favorite thing about New Zealand. Since it would be rather hard to take those things home, I think Id rather bring the people from home here.

48 Hours: Southland
Blown away by NZ scenery above ground, Kina Viola and mates Colleen and Bethany donned headlamps and went underground for a unique girls own adventure to the Clifden Caves and the Catlins.
It was already 9am by the time I finished rushing around the flat, stuffing my backpack, and trying to find my flashlight, and headlamp. Yes, headlamp. New Zealand is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, but its a little known fact that this beauty continues even underground. Colleen, Bethany, and I had planned a two-day outing to travel four hours along the coast on the Southern Scenic Route to the Clifden Caves. There, we planned to hike the 1.5 hour, oneway underground track before backtracking along the same highway to camp and hike in the Catlins. By 10am we had packed Colleens car, affectionately known as Betsy, and were on our way to Unipol to pick up a tent, and from there, the road trip really started. Mountains and hills rose from either side of us, and wed occasionally pass clusters of grazing sheep and a few quiet horses. Colleens driving, as always, was excellent, and Bethanys iPod playlists made the four hours seem like nothing. One image that still burns in my mind is of coming over a slight hill and seeing white-topped mountains in the distance, peeking out from behind a layer of fog. When we reached the entrance to the caves, we were giddy with excitement, and, speaking for myself, nervousness. The caves came about due to crazy underground limestone formationswe could tell where the limestone was because of the rugged pattern created on the hills in front of us, as if the grass was cut into tiny stairs. The weather was perfect above ground, but we fastened our headlamps to our foreheads and marched bravely on. The signpost at the beginning of the trail suggests taking at least two sets of light and warm clothes. Though we all were adequately prepared, the entrance almost made us cringe: it was small, pitch black, and rugged. We crawled in, holding our breath, but were rewarded with one of the most incredible hikes I have ever experienced. The limestone formations were breathtaking, some spaces opening up like rooms, the sound, but couldnt get close enough to see it!) and were once again bombarded with beautiful sun and all the greenery that is New Zealand (above ground, that is). Being underground definitely made us appreciate the fresh air and colors! After dusting ourselves off and taking a few victory photos, we piled back into Betsy and drove to the Catlins where we camped for the night. Travelling and tramping around NZ during the winter definitely has both its perks and its downsides. The weather on our second day was a bit damp and foggy, but we had the privilege at many places, of being some of the only people on the trail! It truly felt like we had the whole park to ourselves. We checked out three different waterfalls, then headed off for one last stop, Nugget Point, on the way back to Dunedin. Nugget Point has beautiful beaches, amazing trees, and a crazy-cool lighthouse look-out, and to top it all off, we ended up seeing a family of fur sealsa momma seal and two babies. It really was a lovely end to our 48 hours of exploration. The drive back was just as fantastic. I dont think I will ever tire of gazing out a car window here. Our trip definitely emphasized to me the variability of New Zealands landscape, filled with stunning, cathedral-like caves, rushing waterfalls that make you feel like youre in the rainforest, long beaches that stretch as far as you can see, and all the rolling hills of the rural farms. Theres something really special and unique about a place that never ceases to surprise you.

Dont go anywhere without a headlamp, in the 18 million year old Clifden Caves.
others more like small tunnels, and everywhere the walls were littered with different natural patterns and designs. We crawled on hands and knees, climbed bolted ladders, shimmied across damp rock-faces (carefully!), and had one huge adventure together. A lot of the hike required trust between you and your fellows. At any hesitation, we would urge each other on, and help each other find the safest and most efficient way to get through a tough spot (and avoid ending up sitting in a pool of cold cave-water). We finally reached the exit after spending extra time trying to locate an underground waterfall (we heard

Student of the Month

The great thing about this photo is that it makes me look like I am 200 feet (thats 60 meters for those metric system people out there) off the ground, when I am actually only about 45 feet (13m) off the ground. I was climbing at Froggat, a public outdoor climbing spot about two hours from Auckland, with the University rock climbing club. I had never been outdoor climbing before and the fact that someone who had never belayed (making sure the climber doesnt fall) was belaying me, made me a little less enthusiastic about the whole experience. While climbing I felt some slack in the rope and looked down, only to discover that my belayer was receiving instructions from someone and not entirely paying attention to the fact that I was climbing! Anyway, she eventually got it down. Another thing that wasnt mentioned until I was half way up the face of the rock was that bugs and critters of various sorts lived in the places where I was putting my hands. I was, however, reassured that the bites were only minor and didnt hurt if something did nip me. After reaching the top, someone managed to snap this shot on my way down. Dont let this story dissuade you from rock climbing outdoors; its really quite fun. A few weekends ago we went on a day trip to Waiheke Island. It was sunny and the short ferry ride from downtown Auckland was a scenic way to start. Once on Waiheke we stopped at an adorable farmers market, where we got a cheese scone, tasted some local olive oil, and looked at some arts and crafts. From there we bused to Onetangi beach, where it seems the clich of riding horseback on the beach was invented. We hung out on the rocks and admired the scenery. After a late lunch we walked to a nearby vineyard and tasted some wines. Visiting the island was a great way to spend the day. Then last weekend our Kiwi friend drove us to Piha Beach, about 45 minutes west of Auckland. Despite the rain, the beach was incredibly beautiful. We spent a couple hours just walking around, taking pictures, watching the surfers, and climbing on Lion Rock. Afterwards we had some fish and chips from a little place on the beach and got scrumptious ice cream. On our drive home we stopped at a lookout and got a great view of Auckland and beyond. Emma Strickler and Audrey White, Auckland.

Vinnie Stevens from Auckland pushes his comfort zone.

This month I went on a trip with the Auckland University Underwater Club to Lake Taupo, which is essentially the dive clubs polar bear plunge. In the morning we went diving in Lake Taupo, bringing a trampoline along into the 11C water.After some hot lunch, we went for a dive along the even colder Waikato River ending in the hot springs along the river.Everyone made it out of Waikato in time to jump right into the hot springs, avoiding Huka Falls just downstream. The hot springs made for the perfect end to a hypothermic day. On the way back to Auckland we stopped by Huka Falls, and the Craters of the Moon. The trip was a lot of fun, and only left two club member with permanent records from the weekend. Austin Schnitzer, Auckland. Austin with his polar plunge buddies in Taupo.

Your Must Do in NZ list

Katie: It was awe som e, I milk ed a cow by han d at the Agro-d om e, wen t and saw the geo the rma l mu d bub ble, hike d thro ugh the red woo ds, and my favo urit e was play ing on a stan d up pad dle boa rd on Lak e Rot oru a! I stay ed at Cra sh Pal ace , I wou ld def inite ly rec om men d it, it was rea lly che ap and nice to mee t a lot of inte rna tion al tou rist s who are the sam e wav elen gth .


Q ue en at /o r go ou t on Brianne: Sh op /e re st au ra nt s, es , pu bs , an d St re et . W ith st or al l of th e to so ci al iz e w ith its a grea t pl ac e on th e fe rry m ee t. An d ho p ne w pe op le yo u th e co as t is la nd s rig ht off an d ex pl ore th e in gs to do ere are m an y th of Au ck la nd . Th Au ck la nd ay to ge t ou t of ere an d it is a w th ve l fa r. hi re a ca r or tra w ith ou t ha vi ng to


e Te rra ce , $1 fis h Su sh i on th stin: G o to Bl ow Au rf by Te Pu ni Bo yd W ils on Tu i af te r 2p m ! Al so ni c su sh . Katie: Th e Bo ta ca m pu s at VU W du sk . ho st el on w al k th ro ug h at are be au tif ul to G arde ns t fa lls . Nolan: w or m s w he n ni gh Th ere are gl ow m or ni ng ha s ke ts on a Su nd ay ha ffe rs D oc k M ar C lo t of ru nn in g, ve be en do in g a nt as tic fru it. I ha fa H ard bu t ia fo r su n do w n. in g up M t Vi ct or he ad w ee ke nd I e up th ere! La st tif ul on ce yo u ar . M e an d be au is itz ea la nd ia .c om Ze al an di a w w w.v be rs hi p. w en t to of ge tti ng a m em at e are th in ki ng m y fla t m

Chelsea: 1. Drop , Co ve r, Ho ld. 2. Hi ke Ta ylo rs Mi sta ke . 3. Ta ke the Or bit er (th e bu s tha t loo ps the cit y) in the wron g direc tio n. 4. Go to the Ric ca rto n Fa rm ers Ma rke t. 5. Wa lk aro un d the Re d Zo ne . 6. Ex plo re the Po rt Hi lls .



Fill in the
With Dylan Thomas, Christchurch
New Zealand boys say...that if Im American, I must be from New York, California, or Texas. Once I let a yall or two slip out, they narrow it down to Texas. New Zealand girls always...dress to the nines, whether theyre heading out on Saturday night or spending the afternoon in the library. I felt pretty silly heading to class in a hoodie! My favourite Kiwi saying is... sweet as. I like it because you can substitute sweet for literally anything and, boom, instant hyperbole. Its useful as! Cantabrians should always...pack a rain jacket! Never forget...that Kiwis are really, really passionate about their sports. If youre cheering for the USA Olympics team and theyre competing against Kiwis (especially in rowing), well, watch your back. In NZ you should...approach opportunities and the cool things that come your way with an open mind. Some of my favorite adventures so far have been nearly unplannedthe direct result of impulsively saying yes to something.

Laura: If you are in Dunedin, walk down to Tunnel Beach!



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