Getting Ready for Auckland

To start off, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Ivy and I’m a rising junior tripling in OMBA, Finance, and Economics. This will be my second time abroad with UMD and my first time abroad alone. The summer before freshman year, I studied abroad with UMD as part of a faculty-led program to Berlin, Germany. Now, I will be heading to Auckland, New Zealand in about 3 hours for my internship program (through Smith). Yep, you read that right. I’m writing this a few hours prior to leaving- what better time to express the struggles, nervousness, and excitement.

But before we get to the present, let’s address the past. Or rather, how I wound up deciding to study abroad and the steps I went through to arrive at the present. Firstly, I knew I wanted to study abroad again. I didn’t quite know where but I knew my sophomore summer would be the best time for it- I’d be far too busy my junior summer and am unable to finagle my fall and spring semester class schedules. With some more research on UMD’s study abroad page, I soon found out I could participate in an internship program. Unfortunately, that was just the easy part. The next part was figuring out how to finance it, finding suitable scholarships (such as the CGB, Gilman, EA, and Ciber scholarships), convincing my parents, and then getting through the introductory internship class.

Now, after all that, we’re here at the present. My suitcase and backpack are both packed to the brim and are just about 2lbs under the weight. For those who haven’t traveled before, TSA can be quite the STRUGGLE. I recall on my flight to Berlin, my first flight out of the US, I had just about half my bottles removed because they weren’t 3 oz or less and weren’t in a quart-sized bag. Moreover, at the airport, you find out exactly how unorganized you are. Taking this in stride, here are my top few tips for packing:

  • Get a luggage scale of some sort- I got mine at TJMaxx for about $7. Normal scales for weighing yourself aren’t the most accurate for large suitcases and you’d rather pay that $7 than an extra $75+ for overweight baggage fares
  • Sort out your things in “chunks”- categorize and pack things together using bags or boxes so that you know where it is and aren’t just rifling through your luggage.
  • Get small bottles of shampoo/conditioner or fill old, small, emptied bottles with it and then buy some more in the new country. Or order online when you arrive abroad. Full-sized shampoo and conditioner bottles are very heavy.
  • Pack versatile clothes and long-sleeved items even if it’s the summer- the weather is fickle.

Off the top of my head, those are the top few tips that I find helpful, at least for myself. I hope they’re helpful to you as well. And on that, let’s close on how I’m feeling. As always, nervousness is the top feeling but it’s a given. Frankly, I’m more concerned by suitcase, which is just about the same height as me (I’ve named him Maximus) and whether it’d get lost or not. But that’s all in due time.

It was a long one but that’s it! Until next post!


I'm a rising junior triple majoring in Finance, Ops, and Economics. Having studied abroad in Berlin, Germany for the summer of 2016, I am now heading to Auckland, New Zealand for an internship during summer 2018. Stay tuned for more!For a more linear layout of my posts, check out the link under the website section!

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