'I had to put myself out there'

Jamie King on a hike

Jamie King at right on a cross island hike on a mid-semester trip to the Cook Islands.

Jamie King ‘19 studied abroad through IES Abroad Auckland because she wanted to experience something completely new – a culture, education, and people different from those of the U.S.

 King, a biomedical engineering major, says that the process was actually quite difficult for her, even though she had already done her research about classes she could take and where she could go. However, when issues arose with course registration and picking the right program, she was able to work through the problem with the help of the BME department.  Specifically, she worked with her advisor, Professor Richard Waugh, Professor Amy Lerner, and Taimi Marple, the Undergraduate Coordinator.

 At the University of Auckland, Jamie took two classes that she used towards her major requirements. The cost of studying abroad was the same as what she would pay for a semester at the University of Rochester, which was helpful. Her parents and money she had saved up herself helped cover the rest of the cost.

 Jaime’s biggest gain from studying abroad was confidence: “I had to put myself out there more to make friends and be much more self-dependent,” King says. She also learned about the interesting culture of New Zealand and the Maoi people.

 One of the many memorable experiences was the orientation weekend when she first arrived. The program coordinator took her group to a traditional Maori meeting-house on a local island near Auckland. That night, they slept in the meeting-house and explored the island the next day. Seeing the beautiful views, Jamie knew then that she had “made an amazing decision to study abroad.”

 One of Jamie’s tips for students interested in studying abroad is to plan in advance. She had enough AP credits that provided her the flexibility to study abroad and take electives, but she suggests potentially taking a class over the summer if that will help meet major requirements, too.

 She also says that students should take a class that doesn’t have an equivalent at Rochester. “It was really fun and interesting to take classes about Antarctica and the anthropology of New Zealand that I wouldn’t have been able to take if I didn’t study abroad.”


A double rainbow from the top of a mountain in the Cormandel Peninsula.