First of all, I would like to thank you for the support I was given while on exchange. It really helped me to get the most out of my exchange and make it the tremendously positive experience that it was. My name is Ben Lorimer, and I spent the fall semester, from August to December 2013, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Going on exchange really helped me broaden my global understanding and my perspective on the USA. It challenged my preconceived notions of their culture and attitudes, and reversed many of my beliefs on how they behaved, and also showed me what the real American life and people are like, rather than the image portrayed by the media.
Studying at Chapel Hill also gave me a different perspective on History, and gave me an opportunity to focus on American history in a way that would not be possible in New Zealand. This played a large role in broadening my horizons and global understanding, and also helped me understand better the political decisions made in the USA. The exchange also pushed me into a foreign country with no preexisting relationships, and this was great in helping me develop my ability to talk to anyone and everyone and build relationships. This will be a vital skill in my desired profession of clinical psychology. Most importantly, spending a semester in the USA has given me a whole new set of friends from all around the world, and was personally very rewarding for this reason.
Thank you for giving so generously to us and past recipients of this award, it truly made my exchange experience better, and the extra travel I was able to do was very rewarding.