3 sure-fire ways a semester abroad will improve your life

It’s not difficult to make the argument to go abroad. Travel, adventure, new friends, and experiences. What's not to like!  If you still have some reservations, maybe you think it’s not worth the financial and emotional stresses, here are three sure-fire ways we think studying abroad and traveling will not only make you a better person but drastically improve your future opportunities too. 

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New Perspective

There simply is no supplement for real world experience, especially when it comes to understanding the many different ways people live, their cultures, and the ways in which we all fit together. Fully immersive travel and study abroad programs take you beyond the screen of tourism into the true lives of people around the world.

As they say, life begins at the end of your comfort zone, and while traveling as a tourist certainly exposes you to a country’s culture and its people, becoming a part of the community does so much more.

It can be difficult to understand how and why people do what they do, believe in what they believe in, eat what they eat… but the everyday immersion that travel provides gives you an all-access pass to understanding and compassion. Everyone’s experiences are different, unique, and important. 

 Traveling abroad not only opens your mind to new perspectives but helps develop personal insight as well. Often we don’t even realize we see things differently until we come up against contrasting attitudes. 


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Impress Universities and Employers

Students applying to universities are now facing steep competition. Admission boards require the highest of grade point averages, the longest list of extracurricular activities, and more and more unique individuals.

 You can set yourself apart by being an applicant who has pushed the boundaries of their comfort zones and put both their critical and emotional skills to the test by traveling and studying abroad. Studies show that traveling and attending university abroad actually makes people smarter, or better at critical thinking. Time.com reports, “students who adopted an open and adaptive attitude toward foreign cultures became better able to make connections among disparate ideas” in addition to being “better able to generate creative ideas” (Paul 2014).

 Many study abroad programs offer college credit as well, so summer and gap year programs prior to entry at university work quite well in student’s favor. Not sure exactly what you want to study? You can take some time for reflection and self-discovery on a program anywhere in the world. Students who study abroad early tend to have a better understanding of what it is they want to study and ultimately spend their life doing, and by default spend less time and money at university in pre-requisite classes or jumping from one major to the next.

 Employers pick from lists full of individuals with the same education, same qualifications, and often same background. Just as admissions boards at universities look for those who stand out from the crowd, potential employers will be well impressed by your initiative to truly experience the world and the challenges travel entail at an age where many don't.



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Spending time abroad inevitably leads to a whole group of new friends and acquaintances. Many connections made at this time of your life can have a huge bearing on your life at a later date - jobs in new cities or countries may open up from travel buddies, or those who have studied similar fields and remember you as a great person who could suit working with them now. 

 Not only will semester and gap year study abroad programs introduce you to loads of new people, but the relationships you form while traveling are stronger than most. Staying safe, experiencing new things constantly, and getting the most out of your adventure requires top-notch travel buddies. The people you meet along the way are just as important and will encompass an even larger portion of your new network, so be friendly, be genuine, and keep in contact.


Here at Pure Exploration, we specialize in helping young people have life-changing tours of New Zealand. Whether it's summer or winter, a gap year or a find yourself year, a semester abroad or an internship, we have all your options covered. 




Pure Exploration are everyday Kiwis, helping people have extraordinary experiences. We are a travel company, but really more into providing experiences. Activity-based travel that kicks ass.
Real travel isn’t just about box-ticking guidebook recommendations or Instagram shots, it’s about authentic experiences spent with new friends who inspire you to think about the world and yourself in new ways.

Our aim is to help young people develop all the skills necessary to attack their goals in life and have the confidence to move forward into their next level of education or employment.


Written by Kaylee Pickett

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Paul, A. M. (2014, April 29). How Studying or Working Abroad Makes You Smarter. Retrieved July 18, 2017, from http://time.com/79937/how-studying-or-working-abroad-makes-you-smarter/







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18th March 2018

Another new location for us, and one hell of a program that will be launching this month. Anyone know where this is??

15th March 2018

Let's check in again with Ethan and our Adventure Guide Interns in Queenstown, as they wrap up their first week with Pure Ex! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItmABkh9QHc

14th March 2018

We've got some suuuuper exciting news to announce in the next week. New courses, new locations, new countries even! Keep following to find out more. In the meantime, we're just gonna go ahead and leave this pic here.....

11th March 2018

Such an awesome pic of our final group for 2017. On top of a mountain, with their instructor Ivor Levin. Grins all round, all passed their exams, loving their time in NZ. Life is good!

9th March 2018

The first overnight trip did not disappointed! On top of the Remarkables, not a soul or track in sight, clear skies above and an evening hike up a nearby mountain for the sunset. Time for a few rest days before getting into some rock climbing next week!

8th March 2018

Last week we welcomed the next bunch of legends joining us in Queenstown for the Adventure Guide Internship. Ethan Kaandorp is going to be keeping us all up to date with what the crew are up to. Check out his Vlog of his time in NZ so far! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFtxMUbgK68&feature=youtu.be

7th March 2018

Discussing the plan for today's hike - assessing the terrain and weather outlook with the team

7th March 2018

Learning to navigate with map and compass in Skippers Canyon. Tomorrow we head for the hills!

5th March 2018

Absolutely stunning pic of our hometown from up Ben Lomond Peak by the talented @oliverward. Magic. #repost@queenstownnz

4th March 2018

Nailing down those climbing skills in stunning Wanaka, some exciting river crossing adventures, a couple of epic hiking trips... it's all kicking off in Michel's 3rd VLOG! Check it out here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GQfRqk-h4E

1st March 2018

The new Adventure Guide crew are here! Looking forward to getting to know you all! Ethan and Ethan yet to come...

28th February 2018

How are your fire lighting skills? Andrew showing us how it's done.

25th February 2018

Awww team. Such legends. Check out this wee overview video from Michel who took part in the September 2017 Adventure Guide Internship. We miss you guys already! If you want to learn more about this course, click here to check out an itinerary https://goo.gl/LLZmpD

24th February 2018

It's your turn to cook. You're camping out this week, and with the team you budgeted your money wisely to make sure you have good nutritious and tasty meals to keep you going. What would be your go-to meal?

22nd February 2018

22 February, 50 cm of snow. Queenstown never ceases to amaze! 😻 #summersnow

21st February 2018

For Queen and Country, Ivor summits 6,000-meter peaks, dangles from ropes, and conquers white water. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Ivor Levin - Pure Exploration's impressive lead guide, chief technician and all round legend. Click here to learn more about Pure Ex's main man: https://goo.gl/PMzm6B

20th February 2018

When what's on your back is your home...

19th February 2018

Hard to beat scenery like this.. unless of course you grab a body board, some fins, and rip down the K river's class 3 rapids! #seriousfun #riverboarding

18th February 2018

It's time to catch up with Michel again for his second Vlog - VLOG #2 - as he talks us through his first week in New Zealand, all about the intern house and what they've been up to! https://goo.gl/nZ7MQZ

17th February 2018

It's been a summer to remember here in New Zealand. Hot days, blue skies for months on end, long warm nights, campfires, road trips, beers by the ocean, BBQ's with friends, swims in remote alpine lakes. If you're sitting on your couch with a blanket keeping warm from a bitter Northern Hemisphere winter, just let that sink in.... 😉

15th February 2018

What's it like to live and train with people from around the world in a foreign country? Awesome is what it is. And hilarious. Get an insight into what life is life living with a new crew on other side of the world for three months from Kaylee, 2017's chief Adventure Guide Intern blogger. https://goo.gl/ofEU9D

14th February 2018

Wildflowers, much better than a bunch from the florist. Happy Valentine's Day folks!

13th February 2018

Looks like New Zealand is delivering on its promises for these grinning folk!

10th February 2018

"To my parents, First off, thanks for your support - I could not have done this without you. Second, don't worry I've been safe the whole time in NZ. I know you worry about me dangling off the sides of cliffs and riverboarding down rapids, but I've been surrounded by experienced guides the whole time that focused a lot of their energy into teaching me personal safety out in the elements. Finally, I want you to know that this investment has been worth it. I haven't been wasting my time - and there is a plethora of advice I can take into real-world applications. And New Zealand was amazing!"

8th February 2018

Meanwhile, down the road from our interns in Queenstown, this guy trains up for his next #missionimpossible ....