BU Abroad: Auckland Adventures
A tourism internship becomes one way to see New Zealand
See the wonders of New Zealand with Julia Kester (SHA’10).
The first commercial bungee jump took place in New Zealand, in 1988. A. J. Hackett, a bungee enthusiast and entrepreneur, ushered in “adventure tourism” in New Zealand when he started charging people money to hurl themselves off of the Kawarua Bridge in Queenstown.
When Julia Kester (SHA’10), an outdoors enthusiast and hospitality student, decided she was going to participate in the Auckland Internship Program, she knew she wanted a piece of that.
Kester had taken courses in tourism on Comm Ave, but that couldn’t compare with experience in the field. She interned for a company called GOOT (“Get Out of Town”), which designs excursions for groups of study-abroad students (Kester’s BU group included). She spent the next several months, on the job and off, hiking mountains, rafting waterfalls, climbing volcanoes, luging down mountains — and seeing some of the most beautiful landscapes in the southern hemisphere.
Kester returned to the States in July, but hadn’t had enough of the great outdoors; she immediately launched into a three-week tour of U.S. National Parks with her sister.
“Lassen National Volcanic Park in California really reminded me of New Zealand,” she says. “It was cool to be able to show my sister a small bit of where I’d been, even though we were stateside.”
The road trip also held homecoming perils. “Initially I freaked out because my sister was driving on the wrong side of the road,” she says (they drive on the left in New Zealand). “It was also a bit of a culture shock to see six-lane highways,” she says. “That doesn’t exist over there.”
With one year of college to go, Kester’s back in Boston, but she can’t beat the travel bug; she’s hoping to work with International Programs during her last year on campus.
“You’re going to laugh because this sounds lame,” she says, “but since I really loved my study abroad experiences, I think it would be great to work helping other students do the same.”
Devin Hahn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about BU Abroad.