5 Things I Wish I Knew About New Zealand Before I Arrived

Amy Cotton is a student at the University of San Diego and an ISA Featured Blogger. She is currently studying abroad with ISA in Auckland, New Zealand.

  1. Netflix Shows Are Different

Okay okay, before you start judging me for watching Netflix while abroad, just know that I do cool adventures and all of that study abroad life. But sometimes on a Tuesday after a three hour lecture, a girl has just got to lay in bed and binge watch The Office. OH WAIT, except, New Zealand doesn’t offer most of the shows Netflix in America offers—including The Office. Have no fear my friends, for I have done research and found the solution: A Virtual Private Network (VPN). I personally use ExpressVPN, it is super easy to set up on your computer. This handy dandy trick will have your computer thinking you are in America and will have you watching all of your favorite TV shows in no time.

  1. Puffy Jackets All Day, Erry Day

I was born in Hawaii and raised in Southern California. AKA, your girl has never experienced cold before. I want to blend in with New Zealand culture, and I figured that wearing 4 layers of mismatching jackets just was not what the locals did. So I bought a Kathmandu puffy jacket. Not only does this jacket keep me warm without having to layer 4 jackets, but it is also a very common jacket that people in New Zealand. So win-win! Just make sure to leave room in your suitcase to bring it back… a tip I wish I knew before I got here.

Me in my new Kathmandu jacket!
  1. Island Living

Speaking of outfits, we are on an island, and a lot of people dress like it. That means, people don’t dress up super fancy. Coming from Southern California, a high fashion place, I brought not one, but TWO boot heels. Guess how many times I have worn either pair? Yeah– None. Zip. Zero. That is 5 pounds taking up my precious luggage weight that will never be used.

You can’t get to beautiful views like this in boot heels!
  1. You will be asked about Donald Trump

Now, I am not trying to get political with this point. I am just letting you know, that other countries pay attention to American politics and you WILL be asked about how having Trump being president will be. All of my teachers have even made comments about Trump in class, and they don’t even know kids from America are in their class. It is just inevitable.

  1. The ketchup is different

I’m not too sure why this is such a big deal to me. But the ketchup is kind of like just smashed tomatoes. Which isn’t weird, it’s just different. However, *insider tip* there is the ketchup Americans are used to at American Chain fast food places like McDonalds if you’re like me and crave some American ketchup.

Your discovery, our people…the world awaits.

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