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Trekking through New Zealand's countryside

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Name: Sawyer Dennis
Major: Health & Physical Education
Student Teaching Location: Auckland, New Zealand

****I'm not even sure where to start. This experience has been everything that I could imagine and more. Every morning that I wake up and watch the New Zealand sunrise I'm amazed by the simple fact that I'm here. I remember the day I learned about the COST program, and remember reading people's stories about how amazing their adventures were abroad, but I could never write on paper how incredible this experience has been for me in real life.

New Zealand is such an incredible place. Everything is great and with each day I'm amazed by the people and the beauty of this place. Monday through Friday I teach at a private boys school called Saint Kentigern. The school is unlike any that I have been exposed to in the states. The boys, who all come from affluent families, are all so respectful and full of life. They approach education with a seriousness yet are able to relax and play during their hour lunch break in the middle of the day. This balance of work and play allows the boys' learning experience to be more effective as well as enhance my enjoyment as a teacher.

That's enough information about the school. Everyone knows a huge part of a person's decision to travel abroad is to see the most of a new country and that is what I have filled my weekends with, travel. Before leaving the states I knew that I wanted to see as much of this country as possible and with the help of my amazing host family, which is another part of this experience that is amazing, I have been able to do just that. From surfing to hiking to extreme adventures, New Zealand has it all. I've fallen in love with this place. One month in and I've been blessed to go surfing at the white sand beaches on the East coast as well as walk along the black sand beaches on the West coast. I've been able to see the Shire from "The Lord of the Rings" and the beautiful Cathedral Cove. Everything that I have done, and everywhere I have been, has been an experience of a lifetime.

I can honestly say that my decision to do study abroad through the COST Program is one that I will never regret. I'm excited to see where the next two months take me. I know that wherever it is it will be great and I will be creating memories not soon to be forgotten

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