The Final Farewell

A goodbye for now, New Zealand.

This last blog is about reflecting on our time in New Zealand and acknowledging each of the 25 people that joined this month long journey. Below are words from each person that detail the experience and opportunity that New Zealand has held for each of us personally. These are the words that they would like to share and we hope that you can see how this trip has changed our outlook on life as well as perceptions on culture.


New Zealand gave me new friendships as well as members I will never forget. From flying to gelato, New Zealand has it all.


New Zealand gave me the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and try new things. New friends, food, and adventurous activities, it’s a trip I will always remember.


New Zealand has been a highlight of my time so far at Luther College. I am grateful for the opportunity to learn about sport in New Zealand.


From its bustling cities to its majestic scenery, New Zealand has everything I expected and so much more. I am glad that I got to experience a new culture and learn about new sports in such a wonderful place.


The unique experiences I have been through in this country will never be forgotten; New Zealand is a beautiful and wonderful place.


New Zealand was my first time out of the United States. It was an excellent learning experience, and I had never seen such beautiful and abundant nature until New Zealand.


New Zealand opened my eyes to a new culture, opportunities, and magnificent beauty in the world. It was a trip of a lifetime that I will never forget.


This trip to New Zealand was the most amazing way to end my time at Luther College. I am so thankful that for the opportunity to travel around such a beautiful country with such a great group of people.


From being lost in the middle of nowhere to being lost in the middle of the city, I would not trade those experiences for anything.


New Zealand was a great place to spend my first time outside of the United States with some amazing people. We got to experience adventure tourism in New Zealand first hand.


From hiking up a mountain to talking to a stranger on the bus, the experiences I received from being in New Zealand will always stick with me.


I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to study in New Zealand this past month. It was a great experience with a great group of people.


New Zealand has far exceeded my expectations; I am so thankful for all of the memories and friends that I have made in this beautiful country.


Whether in the classroom or on my own, the things that I have learned while in New Zealand will have a lasting value in my life. I look forward to having the chance to return to this beautiful country someday.


This J-term provided experiences I would never have been exposed to if it was not for this group of people and New Zealand. From bungying off a cliff, to stumbling upon the Haka being performed in the streets of Queenstown at midnight, the trip exceeded all my expectations.


Experiencing New Zealand’s culture beyond a tourist’s lens greatly opened my eyes to the true culture of the country.


For me, this trip was most valuable because of its nuance. The knowledge gained, emotional ties created and cultural understanding formed for me was all new. Nuance is so important because we go through life use to most things and not willing to question anything we deam ordinary. New Zealand gave me this nuance that has made me realize more to not take things for granted.


This J-term was everything I asked for and more, from Waiheke Island to Queenstown. This trip taught me to appreciate everything you are given and to take nothing for granted. New Zealand showed me that true beauty really is from the sights I saw to the people I interacted with. This trip was much more than I thought it would be and for that I am forever thankful.


I am very grateful to have been able to come to New Zealand this J-term. Many of us take for granted the opportunities we have to travel to such places. It was very eye opening seeing the differences between Kiwi and American culture. It makes me realize that it’s a huge world out there and I am eager to hopefully travel more in the future. I’ll never forget the time I have spent here in this beautiful country.


“If its not really, really hard, why on earth would you better?” - Sir Peter Blake

As I was walking through the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame in Dunedin, I stumbled across this proverb written on the wall. After tremendous amounts of thinking and interactions I made with a plethora of people on this trip, I have come to the realization that my parents are right in saying “Life is too short, live a little.” I feel that its easy to get trapped in society as various social pleasures cause us to conform to societal norms and I believe its easy to lose our sense of adventure. Although I certainly cannot put academia on the back burner, this trip has taught me that I need to live more adventurously and embrace new experiences.


I am so thankful to experience beautiful New Zealand with such a fun group of people. I am going to miss the mountains, beaches, learning about New Zealand sports and the crazy bunch of people I traveled with. (Or what have you)


Having this been my first trip out of the United States, I am now really excited to see what the rest of the world holds for me. The country was beautiful and studying sport was both engaging and exciting. Not only did we get to witness sport but we also engaged with it in a way that will never be forgotten. New Zealand had definitely capture my imagination and want to come back to partake in a photography tour. I cannot wait to return to such an amazing country.

It is goodbye for now.

Our next stop is home. We would like to thank all of you readers for keeping us in your thoughts as we have traveled over the month but also for traveling with us through our blog. We would also like to thank our instructors, Professor Thomas Johnson and Russ Schoweiler for their great leadership on running a smooth, fun, and thrilling trip. We are not ready for the cold weather, but it will be nice to share our stories with our friends and families. We will see you there!!

Mā te Wā

The group holding the Rugby World Cup.
The group pictured over the city of Auckland.