AUT organizes an International Noho Marae weekend twice a year for study abroad and exchange students. I was on the waitlist but one day before I got an email where it said that I could go. We learned about Maori culture, and sang and danced a lot. On the picture below you see what is called a poi which we had to make ourselves. It is used in one of the dances.
Saturday night we had dinner at AUT because it was the 30th Noho Marae. The Noho Marae weekend has existed for 15 years. We performed the songs and dances we had learned that day.
I should have taken more photos but I was experiencing so much that I forgot, plus I was sick so I didn’t really have the energy. But here are a few more.
I went to the bookstore at AUT today to buy two books I need for my papers this semester. I have spent most of this day at uni writing with friends from back home, reading and preparing for next week. I am meeting some friends at 6pm to go to the movies. P.S. the Bundaberg lemonade on the photo is the best!
In the morning, I went to uni to sort out some stuff and sign up for the Noho Marae weekend. It’s a trip where you learn about the traditional Maori culture. I am on the waiting list now. After that, I went shopping with two friends from uni. We had heard of a clearance sale on Ponsonby Road and since I needed summer clothes we decided to go. Ponsonby Road is a long road with a lot of cute cafés, restaurants and shops. I really like that part of Auckland. I would even go that far to say that it’s my favourite street (so far).
We headed to Mission Bay Beach, had fish’n’chips and enjoyed the sun the rest of the day.
I have only been in Auckland for a week but I have already done so much. So much that I haven’t had the time to write about it.
- I wrote a post about the International Orientation last week but I also went to the ordinary orientation last Tuesday.
- I went to the Chinese Lantern Festival 2016 at Auckland Domain (or actually, I went there two times), which ended with fireworks last Sunday.
- I did indoor rockclimbing with my flatmates. And WOW that was fun!
- I went to the Art Museum with someone from Uni. We didn’t check what time it was and the museum closed 15 minutes after we got there. There is no entrance fee so I might go again sometime.
- I went jogging on a bright pink road with my roommate. It was so pretty!
- I have been walking A LOT. Longs walk around the city.
I have met some cool people who are just as interested in exploring the city before uni starts as I am.
I am lucky I already met some nice girls at orientation because one of them had the great idea to go to Rangitoto Island in the weekend. We were a group of four meeting up downtown at the harbour to go there with the ferry. The sun was shining and the weather was perfect for a hike.
Rangitoto Island is a vulkano island not far from the coast. There are different paths to hike depending on your level. First, we hiked to the vulkano caves. Some paths takes you inside of the caves where you can see light coming in from above.
Afterwards, we walked up to the summit. The 360 degree view was amazing, and you could see Auckland City in the far distance.
The last ferry went back at 5 pm so we had to catch that one otherwise we would be stranded. We planned the hike well so that we would definitely make it back to the wharf in time. But somewhere along the way we missed a path. We realised it when we came to a crossroad and a sign said 1,5 hours until the wharf. As the time was 3.30 pm we kind of panicked and started to walk faster. We were already discussing what to do if we didn’t make it. There would be other people on the island because there were a camping area somewhere but we had almost no food and water left. There were no shops on the island. The ferry staff had already warned everybody to bring enough food and water. Luckily, we made the 1,5 hour walk in 1 hour and made it to the wharf in time. We must have walked fast.
In total we hiked for five hours. It was great, but the sun was strong and we ended up with a sunburn. I was an amazing day.
Last Friday was orientation day. I didn’t know exactly where the university was or how long it would take to get there so I went early just in case I would get lost. With google maps open on my phone I managed to get there way before 9 am. I live really close, a 10-15 minutes walk if not less.
The university is called Auckland University of Technology, AUT. It’s a huge university with 19.500 full-time students. 2.660 of them are international students making the university very multicultural. It’s very modern and has a great study environment, social activities, sports teams, and an on campus gym.
It was a fun day with a lot of information. Three AUT employees sang for us because it’s a Maori tradition. We had to give a back massage to the persons sitting next to us in the auditorium, which was… strange? But Kiwi people are fun and seems to joke a lot, even the two police woman who did a small presentation about safety in Auckland City.
I got my Student ID, and I can’t wait to start my studies next Monday.
I will just take a breath … These past weeks have been hectic. I have had so many ‘goodbye and see you’ appointments with friends that I am going to miss very much. A lot of points have been crossed off of my to do list in a short period of time. My last day at my internship was Friday, and Saturday I moved out of my apartment. In my life, I have never been on a trip this long. 30 hours from departing from Hamburg, Germany, until arriving in Auckland, New Zealand. And that’s even without the train ride from Denmark to Germany, the waiting at the airport, and the transportation time from Auckland Airport to the flat, where I am living now. 45 hours in total, I guess.
Actually, the flights were well planned; I was flying from Hamburg in the evening, which meant I could sleep before arriving in Dubai in the morning. In theory at least. I am not good at sleeping in planes so most of the time I was watching movies. In Dubai, I had some hours before the next plane, which arrived in Brisbane, Australia, the next morning. Finally, I arrived in Auckland in the middle of the day meaning I didn’t have to stay up for too long before getting a good nights sleep.
I didn’t see much of Auckland yet, only the road from the airport to the flat, and a Chinese super market nearby that my flatmate showed me yesterday.
Today, there are only 9 days until I on my way to New Zealand. YES, you heard it right. I am spending my sixth semester as an exchange student in New Zealand. More specifically in Auckland. I know very little about New Zealand and the culture but I am excited to find out. I like the Australian culture so I am happy if the New Zealand culture is more or less the same, or similar.
It has been a long application and preparation process, but finally, I am reaching the end of my list of things I need to do before I am leaving Denmark. Scholarship, visa, airplane tickets, insurance, choice of papers, accommodation and lots of other stuff are now taken care of. The rest of my free time before leaving, I will spend with my friends and family.
I will be away for 4,5 month. From my experience, this is the perfect amount of time to be away.