Kia ora from New Zealand!

Posted on March 12, 2016 by

This post is guest-written by second-year LEL student Molly Joslin.

I am half way through my second week at The University of Auckland and thought that this would be a good time to write my first post. My experience so far has been challenging for sure, but also equally exhilarating. It has taken me a few weeks to feel settled in Auckland, but one thing I’m certain on is that New Zealand is the most beautiful country I have ever been to. Three days after exams finishing in Manchester, I flew to Christchurch, where I met my sister and we picked up a campervan and travelled around the South Island. It was absolute bliss driving around with no schedule to follow or places we needed to be! (Especially so soon after exams – it was a much needed break!) We had many wonderful and a couple of not-so-wonderful experiences (one being when the van broke down one morning – we can look back and laugh now but at the time it wasn’t that funny!) The island was astonishingly beautiful. Highlights have to be freedom camping in the Mount Aspiring and Fiordland national parks and bungee jumping in Queenstown. We also visited the student town of Dunedin, although I must say it has nothing on Manchester ☺.

I’ve been in Auckland for three weeks now. The city is nestled between two harbours and the university has parks surrounding it so it is really lovely. It is a great city but very different from the wilderness of the South Island! My first week was pretty hectic and was spent house hunting (perhaps not the smartest move to not have any accommodation arranged before I got here… but everything worked out in the end!) Orientation week here is the same week that classes start, so although lectures started last week it was fairly relaxed on campus and many events and society expos were put on. In the true spirit of study abroad I signed up to try some new activities! I joined the tramping society (a term here for trekking or hiking) and also the kite-surfing society. I thought seeing as I am in the ‘City of Sails’ I may as well get out on the water (I’ll let you know how that one turns out!) My lectures are very diverse; one class has over 300 people in it and another only 5, which is taking some time to get used to. My modules though so far look interesting. I am particularly looking forward to studying Polynesian linguistics and I am also taking an anthropological module on Polynesian cultures. I’ll get back to you on how my classes are going later on in the semester!

While the weather is still good it still feels like a holiday, but I’m sure in a few weeks’ time I’ll be fully immersed in my modules (or ‘papers’ as they call them here) and feel like a student again ☺ At the moment though I am taking full advantage of the sunshine. I’ve got a wine tour booked on Waiheke Island next week and I’m planning a camping trip to the Bay of Islands over Easter. That’s all for now though, I’m off to the beach!

Haere rā!

Featured image: Camping by Lake Pukaki, South Island. All photos by Molly.

Hanging 400m over Queenstown

Hanging 400m over Queenstown.

Albert Park and the Auckland Sky Tower

Albert Park and the Auckland Sky Tower.