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The University of Auckland


The University of Auckland is located in the heart of New Zealand's largest and most cosmopolitan city. Ranked in the world's top 100* universities, the University of Auckland has a strong research focus where students have the opportunity to learn from academics who are at the top of their field, nationally and internationally.

The University's 42,000-strong student population reflects the multicultural nature of Auckland city. With over 8,000 international students and more than 120 international partnerships, the University of Auckland offers a truly global experience.

*QS World University Rankings 2021


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Yes, I recommend this program

Great learning about kiwi life!

I’m so grateful I came to New Zealand and especially to Auckland! It’s the heart that pumps energy and zest into modern Kiwi life. I’ve learned a lot about the native Maori culture from my studies here, as well as the environmental policies that New Zealand implements which should be an example to the rest of the world.

All the faculty and staff in the Study Abroad office are friendly and welcoming, with plenty of opportunities to meet other internationals and locals alike. I highly recommend doing the Waipapa Noho Marae Experience the first weekend! It’s where I made all of my friends from all over the world and helped acclimate me to the cultural climate of NZ before classes started.

Looking forward to finishing off my semester here and coming back for more!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Be prepared for some hills! This campus will give you legs for days with all the odd streets that have hills to scale. And wear lots of layers in winter - it rains sporadically and often, so you always want to be prepared.
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Yes, I recommend this program


The Study Abroad Department at the University of Auckland is amazing! They are willing to help you with whatever problems or questions you may have concerning academics, school life, and clubs! They gave my study abroad program a whole orientation session to talk about general information about the University of Auckland as well as important academic dates that we should keep in mind. They also organize fun events throughout the semester for study abroad students! They are keen on helping students succeed here at the University of Auckland! They also have available for study abroad students a whole room called iSpace that is available for us at anytime to chill between classes or have get togethers there. I am extremely happy with the Study Abroad department here!

What would you improve about this program?
I think I would suggest more events throughout the semester!
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Yes, I recommend this program

Excellent experiences

All the clubs available to join and trips to go on are wonderful. Last weekend I went out kayaking with the AUCC and planted trees in a conservation of one of the nearby rivers to help keep the silt out of the water that is affecting the habitat of the local fish. It was a lovely time meeting people and having fun exploring the outdoors. This coming weekend I will head out with the AURAC to go climbing and have more fun outside. I have some experience on indoor rock walls but have never done any outdoor climbing. This will allow me to go out on a beginner’s trip and learn about lead climbing and belaying and get to try my hand at bouldering. I’m really looking forward to it and all the other excursions that I will go on during the rest of my time here.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Jin Mu

It has been a month since I came to the university of Auckland, I have know lots of things about this university, and I'm looking forward to my future lifeas an exchange student, I have my own student card and account, I can use all kinds of school equipment like other normal students here, such as printer, computer, books and so on; I can also choose all the courses offered by the university of Auckland without any restrictions. When I have any confusion in my study and life, I can directly contact my advisor, who will help me through the difficulties. She also introduced me to ELE, a place to improve my English ability. I am very satisfied with the overseas study program of the university of Auckland, which is a very exciting experience to me

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Yes, I recommend this program

Study computer science abroad as a Norwegian masters student

My experience with being a study abroad student at the University of Auckland so far has been quite good. If you're starting at semester 2 (July) don't expect too much from the Orientation as this is mostly information, but join as many SASS events, etc. as possible as this will help you make friends. The studies itself is a bit more work here than what I would say is normal at NTNU's Computer Science program much because work throughout the semester counts toward your grade. I am enrolled in SE254, SE306, CS705, and PHIL105G. There are few to none study abroad students in any of the Software engineering courses, but the locals are very friendly and open if you are. The study abroad team is helpful throughout your application session and replies to emails quickly.


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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Why did you choose this program?

I chose to study abroad largely because of the inherent differences between civil and common law jurisdictions. As we never learned about New Zealand's take on jurisprudence, it seemed like an interesting area to dive into. I chose to study abroad due to this, but also to discover more about the 'unknown' other end of the world and to just go experience something entirely away from home, family, and friends.

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

My home university set up a variety of events to talk to people from other universities and backgrounds. Going to these events only made me keener to go and experience another country and university.

They have also helped ensure that I met all the relevant deadlines on time and that I was given this opportunity to go abroad. Although they did an immense amount of administrative and supportive help, I still had to decide what I wanted to focus on and make sure I met all of my academic requirements.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

My biggest piece of advice is to get in touch with another student from your university who already went on exchange to your new university. They have been in the same boat as you and most definitely have some great recommendations on what you need to do and where you need to go.

If your university provides experience reports, I really recommend reading them as it provides an ease of mind of what to expect when you get there and what to look forward to.

If you are going overseas, I would most definitely make sure that you are aware of the deadlines, especially housing ones. Often this is the trickiest step and sometimes accommodation is scarce, and you definitely do not want to arrive in a new country with nowhere to stay. Apart from that, make sure you dive in headfirst and join as much as you can to meet new people and places.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

As I have to take 30ECTS/60 credits, I am taking four classes at the University of Auckland. I have Tuesdays and Thursdays off, so I am usually spending my days playing volleyball or going out to a new area to explore.

I have two classes on Mondays and Wednesdays, and they are differently structured than back home. Nonetheless, it is still exciting to go and learn more about areas that I am genuinely interested in.

The Study Abroad association at Auckland University also has a few events each week. Either to a place like Waiheke Island or Rangitoto. This is a great place to explore your surroundings and meet new people. I usually try to go on most trips- so far, they have been amazing.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear is actually so trivial because, at the end of the day, all of the exchange students are confronted with the same circumstances and all of us just want to make friends. I know that making friends is not that hard in a group of open-minded and welcoming students, but it always plays a role in your fear before you go on your trip abroad.

I think, when you start university anywhere, that is a thought that goes around in your head. As I said before, just be yourself, open and kind, and join clubs and societies to make sure you get the most out of your time abroad. Don't be afraid to try new things, oftentimes you'll enjoy yourself and you'll meet the greatest people while doing it.

What is something you expected from Auckland that is actually different?

Coming from Europe, I thought that New Zealand winters were similar to our autumns. Although it is not nearly as cold here during the winter as back home, it is still cold. If the wind comes from the South, it is freezing, and you can tell. The amount of times I almost got blown away is more than I'd like to admit. Nonetheless, there have not been days where I couldn't walk to class because it was "too cold". In fact, some people still wear shorts. I'd not like to follow suit, though!

The weather is very unpredictable. The weather app is almost always wrong! It'll say it's sunny, but it'll actually be raining like crazy. We hiked up Rangitoto in the rain and once we got to the top, it was so overcast we couldn't see an awful lot. When we were heading down, it was dry and blue skies! My biggest tip is to be patient and take your time. The weather changes quickly and sometimes waiting a minute will make the world of a difference. That being said, be prepared to buy a few umbrellas during your stay here! ;)

Auckland is relaxed and vibrant and everyone is really friendly and willing to help. I can't wait to see what else New Zealand has to offer! If you have the chance, I would recommend going on exchange and exploring the stunning scenery in New Zealand!

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

James Wenley

Job Title
Professional Teaching Fellow

What position do you hold at the University of Auckland? What has been your career path so far?

I’ve recently finished my Ph.D. in Drama, which examined the overseas performances and journeys of New Zealand theatre – what plays have represented New Zealand internationally, and how have they been received? It’s an exciting time as I have the satisfaction of completing this odyssey and looking at opportunities as to where I can go next in my academic career.

While I’ve been studying the Drama program and University have also given me a lot of teaching opportunities. One of my favorites is the ‘Performing Medicine’ class that I’ve taught for three years as part of the Medical Humanities program.

I take a class of third-year doctors-in-training and throw a whole lot of medically themed drama exercises and plays at them. They love being able to do something active and creative that is quite different to their usual studies. This Semester I’m also leading “Taking the Stage: Performance and Presentation Skills” which is a brand new Drama course that takes students through public speaking, acting and inhabiting a character, and devised group performance.

One thing that Drama teaches you is that you have to be resourceful. There is no one clear career pathway, and you have to make a lot of your own opportunities. I produce and direct for my Theatre Company Theatre of Love, I run a devising group for members of the University drama club, and I’m also a theatre critic. All of these different areas feed into my academic and professional practice.

Why is doing Drama so valuable?

I actually think everyone should be exposed to drama! One of the things I love is the mix of the intellectual and theory and the heart and the practical. As actors, you literally walk in other people’s shoes and gain insight into other perspectives (and learn a bit more about yourself in the process). In Drama we talk about big human themes, desires, and issues.

I also think that the skills you learn in Drama, like being able to creatively adapt, work together, and tell great stories, are skills you need to survive in an age of precarity and increasing automation. You don’t know what jobs will look like in the future, but being imaginative, creative, and confident will help prepare you for anything.

I am especially passionate about devised theatre, which you will get to explore on the Drama Tools course, where the team explores an idea and concept together, working out what the story is and how to best tell this theatrically – all sorts of unexpected, wonderful moments can emerge!

What does your country’s culture value that is taught in your program?

In some ways, New Zealand is one of the best countries in the world to make theatre. While sustaining a career is always difficult, there aren’t many barriers if you want to put a team together, get programmed by an affordable theatre, and put on a show. From New Zealand’s rural background we get the concept of the ‘number 8 wire’ mentality – we are flexible, and can do great things with not very much.

As an ex-British colony in the South Pacific, we have been exposed to a range of different theatrical cultures and traditions – and have also developed our own. New Zealand makes incredibly strong local theatre - you will learn about some of the unique New Zealand and Pacific approaches to theatre, and get to see some of it!

Did you study abroad?! If so, where and what inspired you to go?

As my Ph.D. was on New Zealand Theatre’s Overseas Experience, I was determined that I would also get to travel as part of it! I received some funding to go to London in 2015 to see a New Zealand show (Generation of Z – about a zombie apocalypse!) that was playing there at the time and also interview some artists.

I love going to different countries and sampling their theatre – what they are performing can give you a lot of clues into the psyche of a particular place! I’d be very keen to hear what visitors coming here make of ours.

Describe a time when you felt especially proud to be a part of the University of Auckland team.

There’s lots to be proud about. I love it in class when students make discoveries about what they are capable of as performers. I’m always proud when I see students come through the Drama program and go on to get work on TV and stage. I’m probably proudest when I see them making or writing their own work and getting it staged!

Tell us about one of the shows that you’ve made.

For the 2017 Auckland Fringe I challenged the Devising Group to make an interactive choose-your-own adventure theatre story. We called it “Are You Sure?”.

Audiences began in a huge concrete silo at Wynyard Quarter by the harbor (a must visit destination if you’re coming to Auckland!) where they meet three characters who are part of a rebel group called the seekers. The audience chooses to follow one of these characters, and they are taken on various missions around the location and local streets.

There are surprises and double-crosses, and it ends with a Kayak chase on the water! But the trick was that because the outcome is determined by the choices the audience make during the show, none of our endings were ever exactly the same! It was highly demanding on our actors who had to be ready for anything, but they pulled it off brilliantly.