What is your first impression when you arrive in one of the United States’ major cities? What do you expect the people of New York, Atlanta, Chicago, or Los Angeles to be like? The answer should be surrounded with a negative connotation, and if it wasn’t… you’ve probably never been to one of those cities. I heard that native New Zealanders were on the nicer side, but it wasn’t until arriving that I realized the degree to which that stereotype stood true.
Growing up in Chicago, you could imagine my surprise when I landed in New Zealand. On the street, in the workplace, in the bus, you name it. Everywhere you seem to go, people are just flat-out more kind. Even statistically, crime in major New Zealand cities is heaps below that of an American city. My hypothesis is that it is impossible to be ill-mannered when you are surrounded by such natural beauty 24/7.
During my time here, I have not met someone who was not keen to share their own personal love, a trait I am certain I will bring home with me.
Benjamin McGinn is a student at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. He is an ISA Featured Blogger and is studying abroad with ISA Internships in Wellington, New Zealand.