UQ Program: Bachelor of Science/Law

Me (right) and some of my international friends in the town of Paeroa where the softdrink L & P is from.I chose to go on exchange to the University of Auckland because as a dual Australian/New Zealand citizen who had never lived in New Zealand, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to get in touch with my Kiwi side!  About to start my fourth year of a Science/Law dual degree I was feeling quite restless and needed a change. Going on exchange was perfect because it allowed me to progress in my studies while at the same time allowing me to travel and explore a new country.

While I was at the University of Auckland I only took law courses (or “papers” as they call them in Auckland).  The best thing about the Auckland Law School was that they held a welcome afternoon tea for international law students which gave me the opportunity to meet people taking the same courses as me.  The University of Auckland international department (called “iSpace”) was also amazing. They have a weekly newsletter telling you all the activities they were organising for international students, and a lot of the time they were free! I highly encourage those who go on exchange to go to as many of the free trips and events held in the first few weeks as possible because this is where I made most of my international friends.

Me hiking the Tongariro Crossing.For me this exchange trip was a further experience because it was the first time that I moved out of home. I arrived in Auckland a week before classes began and started to look for flats on the very popular Trade Me website. One of my biggest regrets was not arriving earlier because it seemed that everyone in Auckland was looking for flats that first week. It took me 3 weeks until I finally found a flat that fit my requirements (eg. students, close to town, not too expensive), luckily I could stay with my Great Aunt during this time but even if I didn’t have her, the University of Auckland can provide temporary accommodation. The best thing about flatting is that I got to make Kiwi friends (not just my flatmates but their friends as well)!  The easier option, however, is probably to organise your accommodation before you arrive and stay somewhere like Number 14 Whitaker Place which isn’t a traditional student hall but furnished apartments filled with students (mainly international ones). The downside of this however is that you will make a lot of international friends but no Kiwi ones!

One of the best things about New Zealand is that everything is so close! It’s really easy to hire a cheap rental car and drive to so many different beaches all within a few hours of Auckland. There are also so many different and dramatic landscapes to see. The only bad thing about Auckland is the public transport system! For this reason you really need to live as close to the city as possible.

5 Top Tips:
1. For the best sushi (although there are many places to pick from) head to “The Cave” on Upper Queen Street.
2. As soon as you arrive in New Zealand keep an eye on www.grabaseat.co.nz for ridiculously cheap flights within New Zealand (some even for $1)!
3. For the best food on campus eat at Strata Café which is opposite the iSpace office.
4. For cheap, big meals head to the many cafes in Newmarket for a huge choice of $10 lunches!
5. Bring good hiking shoes (and a rain jacket) because there is a never-ending amount of hiking tracks all throughout New Zealand!

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