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.

Changing Seasons


Fall in America

America and New Zealand have seasons during opposite times of the year because the countries are in different hemispheres on the earth. This means that while all my American friends were on summer vacation, I was in New Zealand’s winter and still taking classes. Before I arrived home in America, I tried to mentally prepare myself to enter into my third winter in this year. Once here, I realized that though I was dreading coming home to more cold weather, I am now looking forward to the highlights of the cold seasons that are unique to the American Northeast. There is something heart-warming about being in Pennsylvania while there are still some orange leaves on the ground, squirrels bouncing around, and bare tree branches – all of which were absent from fall and winter in New Zealand.

Reunited With Family & Friends


Thanksgiving Dinner 2015 - Back in America

The most important and wonderful aspect of being home is seeing my loved ones again. Conversely, the worst part about being home is knowing that it’ll be a long time before my New Zealand friends and I will be able to see each other again. Nonetheless, it’s beyond words how satisfying it is to be reunited with my mom, sisters, and boyfriend. Being in the same time zone again makes communicating so much easier, and being with them all again makes it almost feel like nothing has changed even though much has. The hardest part about having been gone for so long is that my Aunt has passed away, and my grandmother’s health has declined dramatically. Though these are inevitable parts of life, it was hard to not be around my family during their declines. I’m pleased I had a chance to visit my grandmother and show her pictures of New Zealand before her time expires.