Study Abroad Reflections

Posted on July 7, 2016 by

This post is guest-written by Molly Joslin, and is the third and final instalment of a series (part 1 here; part 2 here). Featured image (top): Sunset over the Corromandel. All images by Molly.

As quickly as it came around, my term in Auckland is over. The last couple of months since Easter break have flown by and I write this as I watch my roommate pack up the room we have shared since February. Reflecting on my experience here, it has been one of the most exhilarating experiences. Moving here, navigating around the university and city, having nowhere to live then ending up living with people from all over the world, travelling around in a campervan, (almost) missing an exam… it has definitely been a rollercoaster, but one that I wish I could do over.


Corromandel Pinnacles.

In the last few weeks my final deadlines and exams have been time consuming and as equally demanding as they are back home, but I have been trying to fit in all the things that I wanted to do before leaving New Zealand. After Easter break I took a trip with the tramping society back to the Corromandel, where we walked the Kauaeranga Kauri Trail to the top of the pinnacles where you can see views of the whole Corromandel peninsula. It was breathtaking, and the photos just don’t do it justice. It is about a 4-hour hike to a hut where we set up camp for the night, with another 45-minute walk up to the top of the pinnacles, which we made just in time for sunset. Back in Auckland, and we went to see an All Blacks game, something that was an unforgettable experience. Seeing the Haka was something that will always be a highlight of my time here. The atmosphere was incredible – it wasn’t bad for my first ever rugby game! For a revision break I took an overnight trip to Rotorua, which is a few hours south of Auckland, known for its bubbling geothermal activity and eggy smell – what’s not to like… eh? It actually turned out to be one of my favourite places I’ve visited. I went without any expectations but found myself mesmerised by the steaming ground and pools around the town. The baths were a dream and I let my revision stress melt away by wallowing in the mud for hours. Downside… I have only just (3 weeks later) managed to get the sulphur smell from my clothes. I can honestly say, though, that it was worth it.


All Blacks v Wales.

All in all studying abroad has taught me some valuable life lessons. Most importantly, I have learnt to double (or triple) check dates when booking flights or you will turn up to the airport and be told rather embarrassingly that you are 7 months early. Get an 18+ card as soon as you can! Don’t for example use your passport as ID, spill a gin and tonic on it and then have to go to the embassy to make sure it is still useable. And maybe sort out your accommodation before you arrive, so you don’t turn up in a foreign city to be told by the university that no accommodation is available at the start of term… anywhere. Aside from these (rather obvious) lessons, I have learnt that stepping out of your comfort zone is daunting and scary – but so, so worth it.


Bubbling Rotorua.

So my time in Auckland is fast coming to an end. I have 3 weeks left in New Zealand. I have hired a car and am going on one last road trip, before going to Australia for a couple of months before term starts back home. So it doesn’t really feel like the end, just another change ☺. Anyway, thanks for reading again and I’ll see you back in Manchester!

E noho rā