Get the Picture: Discovering New Zealand with Jake Voss

When you study abroad, there’s always something that doesn’t go as planned. You miss a flight, you lose your passport, or you find yourself tripping through a foreign language in an attempt to get directions from a local. But some of the best parts of going abroad are those unexpected moments. Jake Voss, who recently returned from a semester in New Zealand on ISA’s Christchurch program, took a break from preparing for the fall term at Michigan Technological University to tell us about an amazing happy accident. Jake won both the Artistic Eye category, with “Campervan Lifestyle,” and The Gang’s All Here category, with “Reflections.”

Campervan Lifestyle

“Over our Easter break, we rented a campervan to travel the South Island of New Zealand for a week. We decided to stop near a town called Twizel, which is a part of an International Dark Reserve. This means a clear night is ideal for stargazing and astrophotography. My friend and I were learning how to take long exposure pictures and were careful to keep our headlamps on the red setting so our eyes would remain adjusted to the dark. By accident, he walked through my picture, and I soon realized what could be done. In no time, we had different color headlamps on and were racing around the campervan as fast as we could. The photo I was able to capture is a great memory of an amazing night.”


“Towards the end of our study abroad in New Zealand, my good buddies and I flew to the North Island of New Zealand to enjoy a nice road trip and some backpacking. We planned to hike the Pouakai Circuit in Mount Egmont National Park. On our hike to the hut, the only view was of thick fog and calf-deep mud. The next day, we woke up extra early to get to the Pouakai tarns (a tarn is a lake on a mountain). It was here that we were greeted with a gorgeous morning view of Mt. Taranaki, a dormant standalone volcano on the coast. Although many pictures were taken that morning, this photo is my favorite. It makes me reflect on all of my lasting memories made with my best friends I met during study abroad.”

Thank you, Jake, for sharing your stories and photos!

Want to make some memories of amazing nights abroad? ISA would love to help you get wherever you want to go!

The world awaits…discover it.

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