Read about past students trips to New Zealand!

Name: Jay Harris
Program: UMSL exchange at Auckland University of Technology in Auckland, New Zealand
Major: International Business, Finance, and Marketing
Term Abroad:
 Spring semester during senior

jayHello, my name is Jay Harris. I am a Senior at the University of Missouri-Saint Louis (UMSL), majoring in Business with an emphasis in three areas – International Business, Finance, and Marketing. This past Spring of 2012, I had the fortunate opportunity to study abroad at the Auckland University of Technology, in New Zealand (NZ). This program was one of many offered through UMSL. In completing the final requirement for my International Business emphasis area, I had to study abroad for a semester or longer in another country. I chose to study abroad in NZ for a number of reasons. First, although my second language is Spanish, I wanted to have my courses taught in English, and all of NZ’s classes offered that aspect. Secondly, out of all the business schools partnered with UMSL, AUT really seemed like the most cutting edge, from all the data I had gathered (which proved to be accurate). Lastly, my dollar was stronger in NZ, and from all the research I conducted, brochures I read, and people I had spoken to, NZ was consistently rated as one of most beautiful places in the world! I would have been crazy not to choose AUT for my study abroad adventure!

jay

New Zealand proved to be just as beautiful and alluring as it propped itself to be before my journey there. The university, AUT, had a very diverse student body and was nearly 2 times bigger than UMSL (by student population). That was one of the best features about the university. There is an opportunity to learn so much just from the students that come from all parts of the globe. I literally met people from all over the world, not just on campus, but just from walking the streets. Auckland seemed to be the epitome of what a melting pot looks like. I also had a chance to jet set over to Melbourne, Australia, which made me love Australasia that much more! NZ is right in the hub of some pretty spectacular world offerings in that region.

jay

Speaking of offerings, there are so many activities to take part in, I felt like a kid in a candy store! Well, maybe more like an adrenaline addict with a 24-hour freebie pass at an amusement park, with all of the high-risk activities one could take part in! I did have a chance to go bungee jumping off the Auckland Harbour Bridge. Oh boy, what a rush! Although the North Island was fun, I did not have the opportunity to experience the South Island that time around. I do have plans on returning to NZ to add that to my travel resume.

jay

Additionally, the natives (Kiwis) were pretty accommodating, as well. No matter where you were, someone was willing to offer their time and help to get you acquainted with their country, or even just simple directions to your intended destination. Kiwis are very hospitable, and my most beloved Kiwi (Sheree), was a pillar to that truth, in reference my experience there!

My time abroad was truly rewarding and definitely one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life!  A lot of memories were tucked away into my mind, and some pretty eclectic and amazing individuals were added to my life (Carmen, Jim Bean, LuLa, and Nanda). I am truly indebted to the people that helped make this trip a reality for me, (my family, friends, UMSL, and myself). I finally complete all of my undergraduate studies this coming December of 2012, and look forward to being able to travel abroad at least once more for academia!

Regards,

Jay Harris

Name: Brett DeHekker
Program: UMSL exchange at Auckland University of Technology in Auckland, New Zealand
Major: Business Administration - Management
Term Abroad:
 Spring semester during senior

I traveled abroad with the intention to just complete a semester outside my comfort zone. It was beyond what I could have imagined: The beauty of New Zealand, its landscape, beaches, and mountains made for great hiking experiences and amazing views. The proximity of nearby places such as the wonderful Islands of Fiji, where I spent a week lounging around and relaxing with the Fijians on “Island Time” (don’t worry, I did do some studying). The activities and adrenaline rushes such as bungee jumping and skydiving were available everywhere. And the nightlife in the cities of Auckland and Wellington provided plenty of good times with the most important part of my time abroad: New friends.

I met people from all over the world, from Southeast Asia, through Europe, around our neighboring countries from the Americas, all the way around the New Zealand again. What I quickly learned was that most of the international students were in the same position I was: In a foreign country, by myself. So it became very easy to make friends. Also, I stayed in the first-year dorms where all the Kiwis (New Zealanders) would quickly pickup m accent and ask me where in The States I came from. Just about every time I had to explain where St. Louis was, I just asked them if they knew who Nelly was. Worked like a charm. 

AUT is located in the middle of Auckland, making it very easy to quickly explore and get to know the city. The staff at the university is wonderful and was very supportive throughout the semester. I stayed at WSA, which were basically the freshman dorms, where I was surrounded by Kiwis and my fellow international students, making it even easier to make friends and see them on a daily basis.

Overall my experience was wonderful and eye opening as I learned about the rest of the world’s residents and also all about my own country and myself. I would encourage any student to at least consider going abroad as it is a one-of-a-kind opportunity that will pass quickly.

Name: Josh
Program: UMSL exchange at Auckland University of Technology in Auckland, New Zealand
Term Abroad:
 Spring semester during junior year
 

welch

Living for a semester in New Zealand was really the best experience of my life! There is not a day that goes by that I do not think of how my study Abroad experience impacted my life, especially when it comes to friends and the memories we made together.

AUT: The school you study at during your exchange in New Zealand is the Auckland University of Technology. The Campus is modern with very tech savvy classrooms, including wifi, laptops for each desk (or you can also bring your own), and smart boards. My professors were extremely nice, mostly international, and expressed an interest in where the students were coming from. Most classes followed similar schedules of a project/paper due around mid-semester break, a group presentation, and a comprehensive final at the end of the semester. One thing I found strange though was you had to put money on your student account because AUT charged you for Internet usage and printing paper in the computer labs. Most of the time it was not a problem as long as you weren't printing a lot or downloading music/movies.

welch

Traveling: Traveling was really easy in New Zealand domestic flights on Air New Zealand were extremely reasonable, as well as international flights and car rentals. Due to the country's location in the South Pacific traveling to Australia, Pacific Island nations, or South East Asia was very common and also reasonably priced.

New Zealand is known as the adrenaline capital of the world so there were many activities and opportunities to try new things. Some that I got to participate in were Skydiving, Rock Wall Climbing, Cave Diving, Surfing, and White Water Rafting. Although there were others, like Bungee jumping, which I didn't get a chance to do.

welch

New Zealand's landscape has a natural beauty all of it's own, comprised of volcanoes, mountains, hot springs, waterfalls, geothermal craters, rolling green hills and the sparkling Pacific Ocean. The vegetation was extremely tropical and green almost to the point where I thought it had to be a fake green because the color of some plants were so green. It was really nice to be constantly surrounded by a landscape that looked as if it were a picture and one of the things I miss the most when I returned. New Zealand was an excellent choice for studying abroad and I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to share such a beautiful country with the life long friends I made there. Just remember it means "Hello" in the native New Zealander's Language, Maori.

welch