Rachel: Summer in Christchurch

Rachel Han is a University of Florida student studying abroad during Summer A of 2017 in Christchurch, New Zealand.  To learn more about her program, click here: UF in New Zealand – Sustaining Humans and their Enviroments.

  • What is your year and academic concentration?
    I’m a senior–graduating this term–majoring in Political Science with a concentration in International Relations and minoring in English. I’m also interested in broad-scale ecological phenomena (and am currently researching the energetics of evolution with Dr. Jamie Gillooly).
  • Have you traveled abroad before? If so, where and for what purpose?
    I’ve been to South Korea seven times to visit family and friends. I’ve also traveled to Canada and France just for the sake of travel, sightseeing, and memory-making.
  • Have you studied abroad before? If so, where and what did you study?
    Nope, this’ll be my first time.
  • Where are you studying abroad and why did you choose to study there?
    I’ll be in New Zealand for a program entitled “Sustaining Humans and their Environments.” I feel like I’m finally embracing the burgeoning environmentalist that I’ve unexpectedly but serendipitously grown into after all these years.

    I want to learn about the universe through direct experiences with my own five senses and see the world from a different point of view in an end-of-times, “untouched by man” sort of place. Along the way, I’m hoping to solidify and strengthen my own personal values while fueling a vision for the future of humanity that I want to aspire towards in my own daily life. Ultimately, I want to bring all these new insights back home as seeds and plant them here to grow, too.

    But who knows? We’ll see where it all takes me.

  • What are you most looking forward to during your study abroad program?
    I want to be uncomfortable. I want to be challenged. I want to camp in the cold, and hike for hours, and then breathe a sigh of relief while taking in the breathtaking view at the top of the mountain, smiling through the aching but enduring muscles and unapologetically tearing up at the beauty of it all. I want to get connected with myself and the world around me in the most visceral way possible, and I’m more than thrilled at the prospect of putting my heart, mind, body, and soul into trekking through the gorgeous landscapes in one of the most geographically diverse countries in the world.
  • What are some of your interests and hobbies?
    I love singing/songwriting, dancing/choreographing, reading, writing, going to the beach, eating (ALL kinds of food), spending time with trees, cuddling with my dog, and playing music (violin and electric guitar).
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