Applying to the AUT involves a lot of paperwork. The process was carried out through MicroEDU , whose staff mediated between me and the AUT. MicroEDU gave me good advice and reliable support. Nonetheless, my application was quite time-consuming, as the cost calculation had to be changed due to my scholarship – a separate agreement between the German and New Zealand governments. The fees were calculated per course in this case, which is normally not applicable for Study Abroad students. To be honest, a lot of the information that you had to provide didn’t make sense to me. The time was so early that it was not yet possible to make a statement, for example regarding the residential address, the visa approval period, the amount of financial support and course attendance.
According to liuxers, Auckland University of Technology is very modern and a fun place to hang out in. The WiFi is fast and free and there is plenty of seating and facilities, such as cafes, gyms, bistros and restaurants. However, these are not state institutions with student-friendly prices, but private institutions. For the local students this is probably the norm, for me it was a negative experience compared to my home university.
I have chosen the courses so that I can have them credited at home. The official description was largely the same, but in practice something different was dealt with in the courses than at my university. The level was significantly lower and the type of teaching reminded me very much of my school days before studying. On the one hand I was disappointed, on the other hand I was of course happy that the study didn’t take up any time and that I was able to use my time for leisure activities and traveling.
Auckland in itself is not a particularly beautiful city and has no charm either. Over time I found more and more nice places where I liked it (Britomart, on the harbor promenade, Aoteasquare, Albert Park, Ponsonby, Auckland Domain, Takapuna…. . ). Numerous markets take place on weekends. Coffee lovers will also find what they are looking for. Another plus is that Auckland is a great starting point for excursions. Recommended for day trips are Waiheke Island, Rangitoto Island, West Coast of Auckland. It is worthwhile to continue driving over the weekend.
“Groupon” is a voucher platform on which fitness studio specials are offered for a limited period of time. This way you can avoid high membership fees. During my time in Auckland, I also practiced Bikram Yoga for a month. At “Bikramyoga Britomart” there is a cheap entry-level offer for the first month.
The housing situation in Auckland is not relaxed. The price-performance ratio is not right and by the time you have developed a feeling for what and where to look, the semester is almost over. Ultimately, I lived in a hostel in an 8-bed female dormitory. The location was ideal – on Wellesleystreet directly opposite the city library. I can understand that this option is not for everyone. But if you like the hostel life and want to meet new young people, an exciting time awaits you. The most uncomplicated option is probably the AUT student apartment, but I can’t say anything about that because I decided from the start to look for something myself.
New Zealand is a special country. People are interested in the welfare of their fellow human beings and are fundamentally honest. They are very hospitable and you will find out for yourself sooner or later. For example, as soon as you open your map to find your way, someone comes to help. I hitchhiked regularly and can only recommend this type of movement. Most of the time, locals take you along and learn interesting things about the country and its people. It also improved my English and small talk skills!
The nature is the flagship of the country cope and that! You can hardly get to a place where there is not a vantage point to see the area from above. Most of the time you have to earn the great view through a hike, but it was worth it every time. Often in the evening I was just at the end of all the walking, but it was also a lot more fun than just driving around in the car or just lying on the beach. Some hiking trails or tours should not be underestimated. You should always inform yourself beforehand about the weather, the nature of the path, if along the sea about ebb and flow, if in winter about necessary equipment etc…. and if you go alone, you should always let someone else know of your plan.
I can only recommend visiting both islands. You have many options for this: before the semester, over the Easter holidays, during the mid-semester break, during the exam preparation time and the exam time itself or after the semester.
If you have already traveled that far, it is a good idea to travel elsewhere from New Zealand. The islands in the South Pacific are attractive. If you like it touristy, fly to Fijis. But there are numerous other islands to explore, such as Niue, New Caledonia, Tahiti, Vanuatu or Samoa. I was on the latter and for me it was both a vacation and a further education about a culture that was previously foreign to me.
Alternatively, you can combine your stay in New Zealand with a trip to Australia. I was there on my way back to Germany and within four weeks I was from Sydney to Cairns along the east coast, it was fantastic!
Overall, it was a great, exciting time. However, the semester itself did little to help. Through my experience at a New Zealand university, I praise the German education system. In addition, I now appreciate what a privilege it is to be able to study in Germany without tuition fees.