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Nordic News

The student news site of Inglemoor High School

Nordic News

The student news site of Inglemoor High School

Nordic News

Seniors pursue higher education overseas

Zoë Meyer

For graduating senior Zoë Meyer (she/her), college means traveling more than 7,000 miles to Wellington, New Zealand, to study

interior architecture at Victoria University of Wellington.

“In the long run, it’s actually cheaper to go there. Also, I’m just excited to try something new.”
Meyer has dual citizenship in America and New Zealand. As a New Zealand citizen, the tuition for her third year of college is completely free, and no prerequisite classes are required, so undergraduate students often obtain their degree in three years instead of four.
When Meyer applied to universities in America, she considered Western Washington University, which her brother currently attends, and the University of Washington. Applying to universities in the United States requires writing several supplemental essays. However, the application process is drastically different in New Zealand.
“You don’t write an essay. I just have to give them my transcripts once I graduate, and I have to prove that my grades were above a certain GPA right now,” Meyer said. “And that was it. And I didn’t have to pay a fee.”
When it comes to studying overseas, there are several academic and cultural differences between the U.S. and New Zealand to keep in mind. For example, in New Zealand, the school year begins in February and goes until November. Summer vacation is during Christmas. This meant that originally, Meyer would have started her first year of college in February 2024. However, because she still had to finish her senior year of high school, Meyer chose to defer her acceptance until February 2025.
Another difference between the U.S. and New Zealand is that many signs and names in New Zealand are in Māori, the language of the indigenous people. Meyer also mentioned that there are many specific words and sayings she might need to learn while in New Zealand.
In the upcoming school year, Meyer is looking forward to being more independent and exploring the city of Wellington. Meyer currently participates in Running Start and water polo. At Victoria University of Wellington, she also wants to join a sport to connect with new people. But while Meyer is enthusiastic to start the new school year, she admits that she initially had doubts about going to university in New Zealand.
“I think at the beginning, I was really scared to apply for this New Zealand college. And I don’t know why but I was just like, ‘Should I do it?’” Meyer said. “But I think I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.”
As for after college, Meyer is still deciding between returning to America to work or staying in New Zealand. Thanks to her New Zealand citizenship, she also gets a two-year work visa, which is applicable in England and Australia. If she chooses to continue her studies, she has the option of going to Germany, where her dad is from. Meyer encourages others to explore the opportunity of studying in a new place.
“If you really want to do it and there’s not a big enough reason not to go even if you’re scared, I feel like it’ll all work out,” Meyer said. “And I feel like if you’re the type of person that likes traveling and are even thinking about it, you’re the type of person that would be okay.”

 

Ronan Kang-O’Higgins 

Ready to further his education abroad, Ronan Kang-O’Higgins (he/him) will be moving to Ireland next school year, roughly 4,500 miles away from home. Kang-O’Higgins will double major in art history and history of architecture and archaeology at Trinity College Dublin, in Dublin, Ireland.

“Trinity was set up by the Englishmen, so it’s a proper old school university and was set up in the 1600s, but it got revamped during the Victorian era. It’s a 400-year-old school,” Kang-O’Higgins said.

Kang-O’Higgins has dreamt of studying in Ireland since he was nine but had little hope that it would actually happen. Having family in Ireland and an Irish citizenship influenced his decision to study abroad. He said that it’s helpful that he knows the culture since he’s spent many summers there. 

“I have an uncle who lives in Dublin. He’s a lawyer and so he’s got his own place there. We go stay with him for like two or three weeks,” Kang-O’Higgins said. 

In order to pay for his education, Kang-O’Higgins plans on using some of his parents’ savings, FAFSA and a job over the summer to pay for the rest. He said that tuition in Ireland is cheaper than in America, and that having an Irish citizenship is extremely helpful since he doesn’t need to pay for a visa.

 “This university is the number one school in Ireland. And it’s also like 81 in the world, but it’s cheaper than UW,” Kang-O’Higgins said. 

 Kang-O’Higgins said that he also enjoys the location of the campus.

“The people are great. I know my family. I know my cousins. I’ve got my dorm situated because I’m an international student. I’m studying at the premier university there; it’s in the center of the city, too,” Kang-O’Higgins said.

He said that the course programs for western European colleges are extremely small, consisting of about 10 students per class. Although he is a part of one of the largest programs, art history, it only has around 25 students in total. After finishing college, Kang-O’Higgins is uncertain of what to do in his future.

“I don’t know. I don’t think there’s a lot of stuff to do as an archaeologist. In the UK, they have commercial archaeology, which they just don’t have in America, but I honestly can’t see myself pushing pencils at a job like that. I’ll probably just come back to America and get a job at McDonald’s,” Kang-O’Higgins said.

Despite some uncertainty, Kang-O’Higgins said that he is excited for this new experience. With a strong interest in Irish history and architecture, he is thrilled for his upcoming life at Trinity. 

“I can walk to any restaurant I want within like two minutes and normally we have class for three days a week. It’s fire. This is a medieval city; I’m going for architecture and archaeology. It’s exactly where I want to be.”

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About the Contributors
Jada Ambers (she/her)
Junior Jada Ambers is a reporter on the Nordic News staff for the 2023-2024 school year. Her goals this year are to grow in her experience within the journalism world and create meaningful pieces for the school. Most importantly, she is excited to have lots of fun as new, joyful memories spring during her first year as a Nordic News staff member. Outside of Nordic, Jada is a part of several clubs. She also enjoys hanging out with friends, hiking, traveling, and reading. 
Amy Zhao (she/her)
Amy Zhao (she/her), Reporter
Sophomore Amy Zhao is the author of several books and graphic novels, including 16 Psyche and Invasion of the Aliens. She is very excited to be on the Nordic team and is passionate about cultivating creativity, expressing important messages, and sharing helpful tips through her writing. At school, Amy is involved in Honor Society and is the Sophomore Class Representative executive for DECA. When she is not writing, she can be found searching for the best bubble tea on the planet or drowning in her collection of plushies.

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