Many students have trouble deciding what they want to go and do after they finish high school; it took a long time for me to eventually decide what I really wanted. After much thinking, I determined the best option would be to go to university abroad.

Although it wasn’t always an easy journey, it was an amazing one, and now I have just began my degree in law at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. This is the initial stages of how I began my new life outside of New Zealand.

New Zealand is a wonderful place; we have a culture made up of unique home values intertwined with that of the passion to succeed and become international. It is perfect really.

However, the divine nature of travelling is what really brought me to enjoy the country for what it was – for years growing up, I felt as if I was trapped on this tiny island away from the world stage. But, now I realise it is one of Earth’s most incredible places and somewhere I will always hold with me.

Indeed, however, you should never confine yourself to the limits of one place. The day I arrived in the Netherlands, the city instantly struck me as different. I noticed the lack of conversation, but the increase in people; the absence of beautiful flora, but the abundance of beautiful architecture; and the complete culture shock that was being in Europe. It is not the same place! And, whilst this is a thought that would seem too obvious in hindsight, I was still amazed at the change I had just witnessed in front of me.

As I began to settle in, I met people and continue to meet people from all over the planet. This was an important step in growth, as you realise the difference in backgrounds that people have come from.

I found this part to be particularly eye-opening as I had failed to consider the tremendous and unparalleled variables that define individuals; everybody was so distinct in their own right, and as such it can seem intimidating to place yourself amongst them as you almost cannot help but feel out of place.

But such thinking is trivial, and really every single person is as lost as you are. This is really the most exciting part. As you begin to converse with the hundreds of other international people, the feeling of dread and nervousness tends to leave you, and instead
you are left with a feeling of adventure and motivation as you are inspired by those who are around you.

I have only just began my journey on the other side of the world, and I am entering the unknown. But life is already incredible and I have more nationalities than I even knew existed. I can only look forward to what is to come next!

Author: Will Cole


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