“Kiwi or Nah”: Carson Wall’s maiden voyage to UC, New Zealand

This is the story of Carson Wall, a senior in Forest Engineering, and his maiden voyage to the University of Canterbury as a study abroad student from the College of Forestry at OSU.

The first of three installations, Carson opens by sharing his upbringing and academic background and discussing his underlying reasons to study halfway across the world for five months of his academic career. These are his stories.

Me: What led you to choose Forest Engineering as your major? Why Oregon State?

Carson: Oregon State was an easy choice. Coming from Washington and growing up in the northwest I knew I wanted to stay relatively local, but get far enough away from home to still have a unique experience. I toured colleges in Montana, Idaho and Washington, but it wasn’t until I saw Oregon that I felt like I knew where I needed to be. A big factor is the location, as Bend, Mt. Bachelor, and the coast are just a short drive away, making surfing and snowboarding too convenient. But the campus itself provided its own significant pull to OSU. Beautiful, clean, and enviro-aware, OSU’s campus has quite a bit to brag about. With facilities, services, and resources for almost any activity you could dream of, all packed into a small tightknit and friendly community, Corvallis really is the ideal college-town.

When it comes to my decision of pursuing the double major program of Forestry Engineering – Civil Engineering, it’s rather quite simple to explain. As I grew up, I loved two things more than anything else, Legos and nature. I figured what better way than to study in a field specializing in building things, and another that focuses on the regulation of an imperative natural resource. 

My reasons for deciding to travel to New Zealand are actually quite similar to the reasons I chose to attend Oregon State. Since it would be a relatively long trip, a semester abroad (about five months), I wanted to go somewhere that I knew I would enjoy, or in other words, a location that wasn’t a “risky” choice. The dominate language in New Zealand is English, and geographically speaking, it is a similar distance from the equator meaning a reasonably identical climate. The terrain and landscape have all the aspects that I love about the Pacific Northwest, especially the magnificent mountains. Also, the two islands are relatively small making it easier for me to be able to travel around and see a majority of the country as a whole, before having to return to the U.S.

Outside of enrolling in three upper division courses-- Structural Design, Soil Mechanics, and Environmental Engineering—while at UC, Carson was quick to integrate into UC student life, finding familiarity in their extensive range of university clubs and activities. When he wasn’t busy with completing course objectives and attending class, he was jumping from activity to activity and making the most of the weekends to engage with the rest of the Kiwi culture and landscape.

UC was great about promoting all the clubs and activities that they had on campus. I tried my best to attend at least one session for each club that I thought was interesting. Some of these clubs included, Ski club, Skate Club, Ultimate Frisbee, Fencing, and Yoga. The first week I arrived they also had a huge week of events called Winter Fest, which included everything from student boxing matches to concerts, and even a full-fledged rail jam with imported snow. One of the most fun events though was a soccer group I joined, that eventually turned into a team, which we took all the way to win a championship in our division.



Figure 1 CARSON AT AN ALL BLACKS GAME | Photo Credit: Samantha Stevens



Want to see more of Carson’s 5-month journey through New Zealand?!

Visit his blog: kiwiornah.tumblr.com 





Published by: Savannah Stanton, CoF International Programs

Completion/Archive Date: 
Sunday, June 10, 2018