Charmane Gabriel SEAS’22

Kia Ora! I am a junior in SEAS studying Earth and Environmental Engineering. During Spring 2020, I studied abroad in Auckland, New Zealand with the IFSA program. While in New Zealand, I learned a lot about Māori culture, saw New Zealand’s national bird (a kiwi) in person, tried my first “flat white” coffee, and completed the Auckland Sky Jump, which is 630-foot jump off the Auckland Sky Tower. My experience abroad is memorable in many different ways. In late March, many of the Columbia abroad programs were cancelled, and students were asked to return home, as a worldwide pandemic broke out. Despite facing the challenge of unexpectedly returning home early, my time abroad has been the highlight of my college experience. I am very fortunate that I was able to go to New Zealand for the time that I was there, and that I was able to continue my courses online. I love to share my experience with others, which is why I became a peer advisor, and also why I participated in more Columbia global programs such as the Columbia Global Collaboratory. If you’d like to hear more about my journey or studying abroad, please email me.