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Jennings, New Zealand, GlobaLinks Learning Abroad Summer 2011

Jennings, a Minot native, participated in a specialized GlobaLinks program entitled ‘Challenge New Zealand: Leadership Development’ program, which gave him the opportunity to expand upon the knowledge gained while earning an International Business degree. “I had never been out of the country on my own and also never experienced such an amazing country,” said Jennings.

The program Jennings chose focused on leadership, personal development, team building and outdoor pursuits-including bungee jumping and hiking Mt. Doom, which was showcased the Lord of The Rings. In particular, Jennings was amazed by the many traditions of the local Maori tribe, including the hongi, a traditional Maori greeting that involves pressing noses and foreheads together.

His time abroad was not all fun and games. While in New Zealand, Jennings and his classmates experienced a 6.3-magnitude earthquake, but they were luckily in a safe location. In addition, by the time Jenning’s program had concluded, his hometown of Minot had experienced a major flood. He cut his travel time in New Zealand short to come back and help with clean-up efforts. Despite these awful distractions at home and in his host country, Jennings still insists that he, “really couldn’t have asked for a better study abroad program, the instructors and the other students where really informative.”

Jennings was mesmerized by the Kiwi culture and an amazing landscape that ultimately made it difficult for him to leave New Zealand. His eagerness to learn and his love of hiking and adventure made his time abroad worth it all.

“I believe it makes me a better candidate for future jobs. It [studying abroad] really gives you a different perspective on international business,” White said.

To learn more about study abroad options through GlobaLinks Learning Abroad, contact the MSU Global Education Coordinator at 858-4645 or visit: www.globalinksabroad.org.