New Zealand: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the geologist Joshua Bregger. His four-month mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where he has never gone before.

If you approached me on my first day at St. Norbert College and told me that I would study abroad in New Zealand in the future, I would have initially been grateful that you did not begin our conversation with an ice breaker, but eventually I would have realized what you just said and laughed at the very thought that I, a kid from the small town of Waukesha, WI, would EVER travel somewhere as far away as New Zealand… And yet, here I am: nearly 2 months away from my departure date.

If previously I would have laughed at the idea of traveling to New Zealand, why am I about to do just that? The answer is quite simple: the fact that I once viewed studying abroad in New Zealand as an impossibility is why I desire to make it a reality! My four semesters at St. Norbert College have shown me that a kid from Wisconsin¬†can achieve the seemingly impossible dream of being a volcanologist, so now I must continue to push the limits of possibility by taking my dreams to New Zealand! Oh, and there’s supposedly an entire country’s worth of geology to explore there, so that’s a major motivator.

As I began the application process to study abroad in New Zealand, I immediately had an important decision to make: which university would I select? While there were pros and cons to both the University of Canterbury and the University of Otago, I decided to select the prior because of the courses it provided, the location, and the faculty. When a simple search revealed that interesting courses such as “From Bambi to Kong: The Animal in American Popular Culture,” “Music in Aotearoa New Zealand,” and, most importantly for me, “Magmatic Systems and Volcanology” would be provided, my head was set on Canterbury. Learning Canterbury is located in the city of Christchurch also added to my motivation because I remembered that Christchurch is considered a hub for travel and transportation throughout all of New Zealand. With all the adventuring I plan to perform, ease of travel is a necessity! Finally, the fact that someone from Canterbury traveled 8,595 miles to SNC just to talk about the university gave me all the information I needed to set my heart on Canterbury.

Before I end this introduction to my travel blog, I want to provide you with a forecast for the future of this blog: during my time spent in New Zealand, you can expect to see pictures of volcanos, mountains, beaches, and everything in between. You can look forward to my honest criticism of restaurants, hostels, museums, and much more. Most importantly, you can look forward to the comedic yet elegant prose characteristic of yours truly, Joshua Bregger. ~

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