Student Experiences: Kati


Why did you want to study abroad, and where did you choose to go?
I wanted to study abroad to grow as an individual and explore different parts of the world.  AUT in Auckland, New Zealand is where I studied for the semester. Mainly because it was a place I wanted to see and being so far away it was nice to stay for an extended period of time. They also were one of the few campuses that had classes that corresponded to my majors of math and chemistry.

Describe your campus and what student life was like.
The main campus in the city center consists of a few city blocks, built on a hill. The locals would say nothing there was a hill, it's all volcanoes.  Although small in size there is a large number of students that attend the university. There were often students tabling in the quad however, the main activities for students is taking advantage of the local hiking and city events. Living was typically all flatting with other students, this allowed me to make friends and get insight into living on my own.
Was there a language barrier? And if so, how were you able to get through it?
In New Zealand the main language is English so there are no language barriers. However, Maori is the native language and there were signs in dual languages all around the city.
What did you find most challenging throughout your experience?
 The initial adapting to the city was my biggest challenge. I also grew up in a small farm town so I never had to navigate a city or live around a big population. The noise level made it hard to sleep at first but like anything you get accustomed to it. As for learning the city, living with locals was great because they showed me around and how to use the transportation.
Overall, how was your experience? And do you have any tips for future students who may be interested in traveling to the same place as you?
By far studying abroad in New Zealand was my favorite part of my college experience. The culture was relaxed, and I never felt in a rush to do anything, which is what I miss the most. Also, New Zealand is full of beautiful nature, which was amazing to see and hike.

Kati and friends

i. If studying abroad is something you want to do don’t let anything stop you. 
ii. Take advantage of every opportunity you get while abroad. They make for lasting memories and friendships.