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Vocabulary Quiz
Kiwis • year off • head
short • euro-centric • ties
  1. You should try to back before the weather gets too bad.
  2. The school day was cut because of the heavy rains.
  3. Taking a to travel is one of the coolest things you can do.
  4. Although most of his family doesn't speak Spanish now, they still have close to Argentina.
  5. He has a very view of the world.
  6. It was very difficult to understand the when I first arrived in New Zealand.
Comprehension Quiz
Answer the following questions about the interview.
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498 The Big OE
Mark talks about Kiwis who travel overseas.

  • Transcript
  • Audio Notes
Vocabulary notes (text only) explain key vocabulary and phrases from the interview.

Kiwis and Aussies

The Kiwis and Aussies you see in London are young Kiwis doing what we call 'the big OE.'

'Kiwis' are people from New Zealand, and 'Aussies' are people from Australia. Notice the following:

  1. We met a really cool group of Kiwis last night.
  2. Most of her teachers have been Aussies.

take a year off

A lot of people, when they finish school or university, they take a year off.

Here, 'take a year off' refers to having a year after university and before you start school where you do some traveling or don't follow the typical steps that most people follow. Notice the following:

  1. She took a year of after high school to make money for college.
  2. Many of my friends couldn't understand why I was taking a year off.

heading back

Then, maybe after a year or so, they'll start heading back towards home.

When you 'head back' to a place, you return somewhere that you have already been. In this case, you return home. Notice the following:

  1. Will you be heading back to Vietnam in the near future?
  2. We will probably head back home sometime after 7 o'clock.

cut the OE short

I actually found out I'd got a job, so I cut the OE short to join the working world.

If you 'cut something short,' you decrease the amount of time that you had planned on doing it. So, for example, if you had planned on going for a whole year, maybe you only stay for 7 months. Notice the following:

  1. He wasn't feeling very well today, so he decided to cut his day short.
  2. We decided to cut the meeting short, because we were getting nowhere.


Before, it used to be very euro-centric, but now more people are going through Asia.

When you say something is 'euro-centric,' it means there is a strong focus on Europe, or, in this case, that most people travel in Europe. Notice the following:

  1. A lot of the travel routes in this book are very euro-centric.
  2. Thirty years ago, most backpackers had a very euro-centric travel plan.

the old ties to England

The old ties to England are still there, and I think that's still the first location for many people.

Here, 'ties' refers to connections. In Australia and New Zealand, many people have family that came from one of those countries, so you can say that they have ties. Notice the following:

  1. Many people in this area still have old ties to Spain.
  2. My family still has old ties to Norway.