To understand my story it is necessary to explain that back in Germany we have also several campuses and as lucky as I am, I have the possibility to study at the oldest building the university have.
So I arrived in Auckland and was so impressed by the huge building WT building at the corner Queenstreet/Wakefieldstreet/Rutlands Street. Then...when I needed to wait at the main entrance for an appointment and nobody came, I asked google for more of the AUT.
My friend google told me that the main city campus was a few meters further. And than I recognize that the AUT is more than just one building. Okay, maybe my preperation before was weak. I was just so surprised about the campus that I was sending pictures to all my friends and family where I'am going to study. And believe me, if I am looking forward to study everybody is confused, but when they saw the pictures they could understand me. So then after this first impression, my first classes started. I was very nervous, because I was just thinking how I would understand the lecturer . I had 3 courses and after I had understand about 90% of the lecture I was surprised. I mean, I was thinking I'm great ! After I recognized that my lectures are not Kiwi's I understood that I am less great, but it was still fact that my anxiety not to understand them was for nothing. Also I never hear a international student saying, that they can't understand the lecturers.
So the biggest anxiety was gone and there was one more...the social aspect. How I can get friends, what should I talking about ? And that was the third surprise for me. The AUT has such a big and great support for international students. Not only that Kenneth, our abroad supervisor help me every time with all questions, the international students support at the AUT organized the whole semester events for us. So its was easy to meet new people and make friends.The first week was an introduction week. This was the first time you can see all students who are beginning their study and also were new at the university. Not only abroad students.This week was a very big help too. The university inform us about everything what was important for us such medical support at the campus, searching a accommodation, international support, the campus at self and much more. A further very great help for the AUT and for the abroad students are got the get out ! There is a great and strong cooperation between the AUT an got to get out, so the students get the opportunity to meet new people on outdoor trips, while surfing hicking or sailing or do many other things. Sure, everybody can be a part of this trip, but I think I would never know about such trips, if I wasn't a student of AUT. Also many of the trips are currently around Auckland.
So the anxiety not to be social left me fast. One more big and great thing is the facebook group for abroad students. Especially for the beginning it is a great help to find new friends and to ask question to other abroad students. It is such a place where you can find help from people which do the same as you. In particular at the beginning of the semester everybody wants to find new people and many people ask for for others who want to joint them to go out, to drink a beer, to hike, to make a weekend trip. So to sum it up. I came as a freelancer to the AUT, that means that I did not have the support from my home university. But I recognize fast that I do not need it. because the support of the AUT was so strong that it was more then enough. Every question was answered by lecturers, the "supervisor" and the international office on the campus. They even help me to find the right courses, suggested opportunities and even send me my schedule in advance. If I would tell you what you else have at the university it would be to much. This was just short and a bit of this what you get at the AUT. But this is what is very important for abroad students.