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Students of Groningen: ‘Out of my comfort zone’

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‘When I finished school, I didn’t know what to do. I had no goals, orientation or any idea how life was outside my little hometown in Germany. It was a hard choice to make for an 18-year-old.  So I decided to go to New Zealand without really thinking about it.  I just bought my ticket, packed my bags and went for it. No job, no housing, no anything. I must confess I was a bit scared to go there alone. I didn’t know what to expect. But at the same time, I was excited because I was getting out of my comfort zone and it is then when people start improving. And I was indeed out of it. After three days, I started working on a farm in exchange for food and accommodation. And later on, I found remunerated work.

‘In New Zealand, I learned a lot of practical things like living on my own, searching for a job, harvest a lettuce field and so on. The experience also changed me tremendously. I became more open to other cultures and people, I gained trust in myself and appreciated what is important in life. I learned that it is good to think and be different. That there is more than my little hometown and its standards. After I came back from that trip, I knew very well who I am, what my strengths and weaknesses are and what I wanted to do in the future. I can only recommend to people that if they find themselves in a similar situation, that they just take the risk because these kinds of experiences shape our personalities for the better.’