a semester abroad in New Zealand

Archive for July, 2011


Yesterday Dan and me decided to go to the park for some disc throwing, but we didn’t have a disc :P So we went downtown to buy some kind of Frisbee we can use for casual throwing… which turned out to be harder than we thought. After a while we found a Frisbee-like disc in the warehouse (a department store), but it didn’t seem satisfying, so we decided to look somewhere else. After getting a really tiny, but free disc at some tourist info thing, we found a real 175g ultimate disc in a sports store :)

Today we (4 other people from this residence and me) took a bus to a sports ground a couple of kilometers away from here, where a weekly pickup game takes place. Today there were approximately 16 people, mostly experienced players. Even though I had a lot of fun, I played pretty bad :P In addition to the fact that I’m still new to this sport, the field was more of a swamp than a grass pitch (I don’t have cleats yet) and the weather was really windy.

The location is really nice though, the sports ground is very close to the ocean.


Auckland at Night

I finally managed to take some nice pictures of the view from our living room (10. floor). You can’t really open the windows around here and I haven’t bought a stand for my camera yet… so I had to improvise.

The window opens a little bit, with the gap at the bottom… big enough for the lens of the camera… and a book made a decent “camera stand” for this situation.

These pictures show the downtown area of Central Auckland and parts of the Albert Park, which is next to the university:

Additionally I got this photo of the downtown/harbor area covered in fog… but this one was unfortunately taken through the dirty window -.-

first day of lectures

Yesterday I had four lectures, each for the first time and in four different buildings… but I somehow managed to be in every lecture in time! The first one was a computer science lecture, which was kind of boring, because I already knew everything covered in that lecture.

The second one is called “Communicating for a Knowledge Society” and seems really interesting… but I have to write an essay, do a presentation and design a poster, in addition to the exam!

At the beginning of my third lecture, “English as a Second Language: Writing Research Reports”,  I wasn’t sure if I was in the right place… because nearly 90% of the people there were female and wearing a headscarf. But I was in the right place… I’m basically the only European and one of the two males in this course (and the only science guy :P).

The last paper (another computer science lecture) was read by a German guy… I figured that out almost immediately because of his really strong German accent.  Also this guy was literally smiling all the time… for one hour straight. I seem to be the only European guy in this lecture, too.

Overall the day was kind of exhausting… so I went to bed soon, after grocery shopping and dinner :P

PS: the second day was also exhausting… I’m not used to be at the university for half the day, because of all the free time I had during the last weeks :P

a beautiful day

Because of the really nice weather yesterday, I grabbed my camera and went for a long walk through Auckland (sadly less than two hours before the sunset). To give you a rough idea about the things on the pictures, here is where I went: I started at my apartment, went down Symonds Street (next to the apartments and the university), crossed the campus and went through Albert Park. After that I went downtown (Queens Street) and passed the Skytower.

From that point on I walked down streets I’ve never been before just to see where I end up… and I somehow ended up at the marina. Which was nice, because I wanted to go to the marina ever since I arrived here. After I had seen most parts of the marina, I sat down at the pier and watched the sunset (which I tried to capture in some pictures, with little success). Without the sun it got kind of cold, so I took the shortest way home.

Enjoy the pictures (and don’t judge my photographer skills, I’m a beginner :P)

Scared & Excited

I just signed up for a Canyonz Trip at August, 20. :)

Recommended Reading

I have to share this great post I read in another blog: http://www.fluentin3months.com/life-lessons/

(I also read some of the linked posts, which were nice too… I definitely will read more stuff from this guy)

Can I see your ID, please?

I have to tell you about one thing I forget to mention before: getting “ID’d”.

It is kind of annoying me… either because I’m allowed to drink beer in Germany for over eight(!) years now… or because the only legal proof of age I got around here is my passport.

Nearly every pub/bar/whatever got a sign saying something like this: “We are required to request identification from everyone who looks under the age of 25, and the only forms of identification accepted are a valid New Zealand or overseas passport, a valid New Zealand driver license, or a valid 18+ card”

A couple of times they accepted my German ID card, but one time I was really close to not getting any alcohol at all :P For the pub night on Thursday I brought my passport, because otherwise I would not even get in. But I hate carrying my passport with me… it is bulky, does not fit in my wallet and it would be a pain in the ass loosing it!

So basically my only long-term option is getting one of those 18+ cards (or starting to look 25 or older). I already applied for a 18+ card, which involved filling out a form, getting an appropriate ID picture (apparently the ones I brought from Germany are to small), getting a “proof of address” and getting the signature of a Justice of Peace. But since I won’t get the 18+ card for another two or three weeks, I probably have to bring my passport a couple of more times. Sucks.