The University of Auckland offers a wide range of courses. Most courses are worth 15 points, which is equivalent to 7. 5 ECTS credits. Normally, students take 4 to a maximum of 5 courses (or “papers”) per semester. But since I didn’t need that many credits anymore, I only took 3 courses. All course names contain a number. Courses with numbers between 100 and 400 are bachelor’s courses and all with numbers over 600 are master’s courses.
The enrollment process is relatively simple and self-explanatory. Information about the courses can be found in the online course catalog. The time window in which you can register for the courses opens relatively early. You can register as soon as you have paid the semester fees. Enrollment is based on a “first come – first serve” principle. It is therefore worth checking at an early stage which courses are eligible. If the evaluation is delayed a bit, I recommend registering for the courses anyway, as you can change to other courses without any problems until the end of the second week of the semester. Sometimes it can also happen that you have to apply for a course, as this requires certain guidelines.
Compared to my home university (HSG), the structure of the courses at the UOA is quite different according to answerresume. On the one hand, the number of course participants is usually lower, which automatically creates closer contact with the lecturer. In addition, you have more to do with the courses during the semester (midterms and assignments). Accordingly, there are then smaller or no final exams. It may also be that the courses require compulsory attendance, which can also have an impact on the grade.
My courses taken
MAORI 130 / 130G: Te Ao Maori: The Maori World
I can recommend this course to anyone who wants to learn something about the culture of the country during the exchange. The lecturer is arguably one of the best I’ve ever had, and I’ve had a lot! His relaxed and friendly manner, combined with his passion and enormous knowledge of the subject, make his lectures unique and extremely exciting. In addition, we always welcomed competent guest speakers who shared their own experiences. In addition to the weekly lecture (2h), there is a one-hour tutorial every week with compulsory attendance (5% of the overall grade), in which everything that is relevant for the exam is repeated. The examination consists of two midterms, compulsory attendance in the tutorials and a final examination at the end of the semester. For the exams, it is mainly important to memorize the material dealt with in the lectures. Accordingly, a good grade can be achieved relatively easily with little effort.
COMMS 204: Social Media
This course requires a little more effort. All in all, I can still recommend it. This course also consists of a weekly lecture (2h) and a weekly tutorial (1h). The lecturer and tutors are very competent, friendly and helpful. The most important social media concepts are discussed in the lectures and then applied in the tutorials. The examination consists of three assignments. On the one hand, you have to create your own social media campaign. First you present your idea in a proposal (assignment 1) and then create a portfolio (assignment 2) with the actual campaign. On the other hand, you have to write a critical essay on one of the concepts discussed (Assignment 3). The grading seemed very fair to me – if you made a little effort, it was rewarded.
OPSMGT 757: Project Management
With this course, I am not entirely sure whether I would recommend it to others. On the one hand, the lecturer is very competent and has a pleasant way of conveying the content. He hardly teaches face-to-face, but relies more on simulations and case studies. On the other hand, I had a bit of trouble with his grading. He has a very clear opinion of what he wants and what is right or wrong in his eyes and does not allow for discussion. While this was not a problem in some assignments, it was rather tedious in others, such as writing a reflection report, because in the end you weren’t actually discussing your own learning experiences, but only describing what you wanted to hear. I also found his feedback hardly constructive. Conclusion: If one can accept that the student’s opinion is of no interest to him and therefore worthless, a good grade can also be achieved in this course.
Information before departure
I organized my exchange through MicroEDU. This agency offers good support free of charge and ensures that nothing is forgotten during the entire process. In addition, they take on the communication with the host university, which significantly speeds up the entire process because they have direct contact persons. I recommend it to everyone.
Since you are changing to the other end of the world, the flight is correspondingly long and cannot be made without a stopover. With my chosen flight, the layover was in Hong Kong, which was a good option. Other popular flight routes are either via Dubai or Singapore, depending on the airline. The different options hardly make any difference in terms of time.
VISA and entry formalities
The student visa should be applied for about six weeks before departure. This can be done online at https://www. immigration. govt. nz/new-zealand-visas. There you will also find a list of the documents you need to upload online. The visa can be printed out after it is issued and presented with the passport at immigration control at Auckland Airport. Otherwise, it is important when entering the country that you do not bring any groceries with you or wear or have dirty outdoor clothes with you. Since New Zealand is a small island, the government is very careful not to bring in foreign food, animals or seeds that could threaten the flora and fauna in New Zealand. However, this is often pointed out before the inspection.
The university offers numerous housing options for which one can apply. International students have priority in the application process and therefore it is easy to get a place, provided you fill out the application correctly and within the given deadline. I decided on a 3-4 room flat share in the Carlaw Park Student Village (CPSV) and got a place in a 4-person flat share there. I was very lucky and lived with three New Zealanders. But it can also be that you are split up with other exchange students. The offers from the university are usually a bit more expensive than if you were to look for something yourself. I paid NZD 544 per 14 days for my accommodation. This saves you a lot of stress and effort and you have a guarantee that the accommodation is well located. Most of them can reach the university in about 10 minutes. The property also organizes numerous events where it is easy to make new friends. I had a good time at the CPSV and highly recommend it.
Basically, the cost of living in New Zealand is comparable to that in Switzerland. During my time in Auckland, the exchange rate was pretty good and accordingly the costs were a little lower than expected. I didn’t open a New Zealand bank account, I paid for everything with my Swiss credit card and I had no problems with it. A prior discussion with your bank about fees abroad is definitely worth it.
It is definitely worth setting up a New Zealand telephone number for this. In the university’s starter pack, you get a free travel SIM card from Vodafone, which you can use to purchase a particularly affordable three-month subscription for travelers. The normal fees will then be charged.
New Zealand and Auckland
New Zealand is a very safe country with friendly people, an impressive culture and no deadly poisonous animals. In addition, New Zealand has breathtaking and unspoiled nature and landscapes that vary across the country. From dreamy beaches to mountains and glaciers to fjords, crystal clear lakes and impressive waterfalls, everything can be found. Auckland is certainly not considered the most beautiful city in New Zealand, but it is still well suited for an exchange semester. The city’s location allows for many beautiful day and weekend trips.
Although there is always something to do during the semester, I was still able to travel to almost all of the North Island during this time. Since the South Island is even more impressive in terms of landscape, it is definitely worthwhile to plan some time before or after the semester to travel to it. I can warmly recommend taking the ferry from Wellington to Picton to change to the South Island. The location of New Zealand is also ideal for exploring one of the wonderfully beautiful Pacific islands (for example Fiji or Samoa) during the semester break.
In summary, I can look back on a wonderful time in New Zealand and I would choose Auckland as my partner university again at any time. Accordingly, I can recommend an exchange semester at the University of Auckland at any time. Especially if you like to be outdoors in nature, New Zealand is just right for you.
If you have any questions on a specific topic, please feel free to contact me at any time by email.