I’m Jessica Pujol, and I study at the engineering school in agronomy of Toulouse: ENSAT. I went to New Zealand to discover more about this country because I have dreamt to go here ever since I was young. There are just extraordinary landscapes here and the people are so kind, it’s just like paradise. When I arrived in Auckland in April with my boyfriend, we bought a car (Sparky) to travel when and where we wanted. We have done more than 12,000km with Sparky in Aotearoa across windy, gravel roads from Cap Reinga in the north to Slope Point in the south. A most magical sight was the Milky Way from Lake Tekapo – you have to see it to believe it! Sometimes, we can just think that it’s too hard to leave Europe with our friends, our family and our life to go at another part of the world. But from this experience I have learnt about real life and freedom. If you can do this, don’t hesitate, go ahead! Don’t worry about English, I was worried when I but three months later I now understand most of the things and have a real discussion too. Kiwis are very kind and happy to repeat things if their accent is a little strong for you to understand. Now a little about my experience. This was my gap year to think about what to do in the future. I did my training period at the Field Research Centre at Lincoln University, to learn more about plants. I’ve done a lot of different work: helping PhD students with their projects and working with, Malcolm, a technician, who I helped every day with shifting and weighing sheep or to cut and sort pasture samples. He was just too kind and he took care of me like I was his daughter. Everybody in the Centre helped me when they could, it was very enjoyable to work within this atmosphere! I also had my own project on subterranean clover to understand the effect of cold temperatures and frost had on different cultivars! I didn’t know a lot of things about plants before because I have mostly specialized in animal production, but now I know how to recognize brome from cocksfoot or ryegrass! My knowledge has expanded with plants but I missed lambing in August because I had to leave. I will be so sad to return to France now. I would like to stay here for longer, four months is too short… No I’m kidding, but seriously, if you can stay for longer, just do it and enjoy. If I had just one thing to say to you: live your dream and go to the Field Research Centre to do your internship!
You will not regret it,