By Thomas Chapman (University of Auckland, New Zealand).
I’m here! The world. Oceania. New Zealand. Auckland.
So far my reception of New Zealand has been great. The campus is right in the city centre and everything is right on hand. Things like setting-up mobiles and banking could not be more straight-forward, which is great when coming to the other side of the world (literally). I suppose it’s just the amount of smaller tasks and their time-consuming nature that is a little ‘boring’, but once you’ve done them then you’re free to begin a 6-month adventure and to study.
The hardest task of all by far though, has got to be finding accommodation. Although it’s exciting to wake up most days in my hostel with optimism in my heart and a full suitcase under my bunk bed, it is not a straight-forward process to find the right place. I have got to say though, the help has been great from the Uni; advice on prices, where to look and the whole process out here, has been thorough and entertaining. The speed-flatting (like dating) made me realise that I’m not the only one still without a house. It got me in touch with some really cool people who also have come looking for a base of operations in a foreign country.
Hopefully, the housing should sort itself out in the next few days, just as term starts; which is the main reason I’m in New Zealand I suppose. The courses I chose all sound interesting and I’m looking forward to starting them and getting a bit of structure to my time here.
Auckland itself is a beautiful city (and surprisingly hilly). It is New Zealand’s largest city and, although it’s no Manchester, it has all the features of a multicultural CBD. A large asian and polynesian influence can be seen around the city, which has left me keen to meet some more Kiwis between all the other international students I have become friends with, but there is plenty of time for that once the semester starts.
The hills, as mentioned earlier, provide great backdrops of the city from a suburban surrounding, giving clear views of the iconic Sky Tower from almost all the surrounding regions. I’m keen to get out more, away from Auckland, and to see what New Zealand really has to offer outside of it’s largest city, but that will have to wait until the weekends and to when I have a house.
A quick note to anyone who might be interested in New Zealand’s military history – the War Museum is worth a visit. It has a full-sized spitfire – awesome, I know! It’s also a rather dramatic-looking building and worth a wonder up to.
To anyone back home reading: Hi! I hope it’s all going okay. Also, congratulations to my sister, Hayley, who gets married next weekend. I hope it’s a magical day – you deserve one!
Anyway, that’s it for now. I’ll keep you updated on everything as it happens so…. yeah…. watch this space!