Shanna Law - “Reflections From America”


Shanna Law

Shanna has travelled from the USA to study for a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Geology at the University of Otago in New Zealand.  When she’s not studying she likes to hike, paint and read.

Three weeks ago, I left New Zealand and traveled home to America. I spent just over nine months in New Zealand, and a lot can change in that time. I was a bit apprehensive about going home - I anticipated that I would face reverse culture-shock and feel slightly out of place. While this proved to be true, being home does not feel nearly as weird as I feared. This is because even though I am looking at everything with new eyes, everything I’m looking at is deeply familiar. I have realized that what impacted me the most were the changes in what I interacted with everyday: food, the weather, and people. It reinforces the cliché that the small and everyday things are the most important.

Back In America


Pizza in America

Since being home, I have found myself taking pictures of average things, like pizza and the grocery store, to send to my friends back in New Zealand. The differences between New Zealand and America have often seemed subtle to me in the sense that everything is the same but different. For example, both countries have pizza, but American pizza is larger, generally crispier, and often has different toppings. My favorite American pizza is buffalo chicken, but in New Zealand you are much more likely to find cashew chicken pizza, which is just as delicious but an entirely different experience. It’s been great fun rediscovering all of my favorite American foods, but I know before too long I will start to miss my favorite New Zealand foods.