Joshua Bridge displays a picture of himself while speaking to an audience at the Belden Noble Memorial Library in Essex.
For Joshua Bridge, the choice for where he should spend a semester studying abroad came down to his favorite movies.
“I always loved the ‘Lord of the Rings’ movies,” Bridge told an audience gathered at the Belden Noble Memorial Library in Essex Aug. 8, relating how he came to spend a semester in New Zealand.
Bridge was abroad for more than four months as part of a Hamilton College program. He said the college allowed him flexibility in picking where he was able to spend his time.
“Hamilton puts an ‘X’ over any country that is in the middle of a conflict and Cuba,” Bridge said. “You can basically pick anywhere else and they will come up with a course plan for you.”
Along with seeing the areas where his favorite films had been made, Bridge wanted a chance to truly venture beyond his front door.
“I have talked to many people and no one had anything bad to say about New Zealand,” Bridge said. “Also, I wanted to go somewhere that I could really say that I was able to get away from everything.”
Bridge talked about his experience with the audience as well as shared several pictures and videos from his trip, which included meeting with members of the native Maori tribe and learning to do such things as the haka.
“I had the chance to learn about their village and culture,” Bridge said. “Everyone there and everyone in New Zealand is so nice.”
Bridge was amazed by the natural beauty of the country.
“If you are just into nature, this is the place to go,” he said. “There are so many great landscapes and formations. When we were on the ferry, the water between the two islands is like nothing I have ever seen before. There were a lot of wow moments that you just could not capture on photograph.”
Bridge related his adventures to hot springs, mountain ranges and to his first rugby match, where he got the chance to watch one of the most famed teams in the world, the New Zealand national team, known as the “All Blacks.”